Snoring is a world-wide phenomenon, but not all snoring is created equal. Snoring that’s accompanied by choking while asleep, stopping breathing for short periods of time, and frequent awakening could indicate a serious condition known as sleep apnea. Dr. Robert Karr at Alliance Dental Care in Fort Worth, TX is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. He has the experience and training to accurately diagnose sleep apnea and will provide effective treatment.
About Sleep Apnea
The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when the tissues inside the mouth and throat relax too much during sleep and block the airway. The result is “oxygen hunger” which causes the sleeper to awaken briefly and take a breath. However, the person may not remember waking up even though it can happen hundreds of time a night.
Lack of refreshing sleep has significant health and safety impacts, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Weight gain
- Daytime sleepiness and inattentiveness
- Memory problems
The person with untreated sleep apnea is a potential danger to others as well as himself or herself.
There are some lifestyle changes that can improve sleep apnea. Since the condition often occurs when the person is significantly overweight, losing weight via diet and exercise can help. In many cases, though, those self-help measures aren’t enough.
If you suspect that you or a family member might have sleep apnea, take action now. Call Alliance Dental Care in Ft. Worth, TX at 817-985-3077 to schedule a free sleep apnea consultation.
Is It Sleep Apnea?
Dr. Karr will recommend that you or your family member complete an at-home sleep study using two Ez Sleep tests. A medical device monitors sleep patterns and provides objective information that a medical doctor will use to diagnose or rule out sleep apnea. That doctor will confer with Dr. Karr regarding your diagnosis and recommended treatment.
Severe sleep apnea conditions are usually treated with a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) device. This machine blows air through a tube and mask to keep you airway open. Many people, however, find it difficult to tolerate the straps, the mask, or the noise that the machine produces. The hoses can also get tangled when the person rolls over while sleeping.
If indicated for your condition, Dr. Karr will provide you with a customized oral appliance that you wear in your mouth while asleep. That will shift your jaw to keep your airway open while you sleep. It’s comfortable and, unlike most CPAP devices, completely silent.
Don’t Take Chances With Your Health And Safety
Snoring is common, but uncommon snoring may indicate something far more serious. You may not know that your snoring is different, but a family member almost certainly does!
If your sleep is constantly unrefreshing, if you have unexplained headaches and daytime sleepiness, or you’re developing other health conditions for seemingly no reason, consider the possibility of sleep apnea.