Do you wake up every morning still feeling sleepy or with a pounding headache? Does your partner complain about your snoring? You may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is a common condition that affects nearly 20 million Americans. This occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep, resulting in frequent pauses in breathing. This halting of oxygen causes the body to wake up or change positions in order to resume airflow, and this can happen up to 30 times per hour.
Some of the potential symptoms of OSA include:
• Loud snoring
• Waking up frequently
• Periods of gasping or choking during sleep
• Excessive dry mouth
• Extreme daytime fatigue
Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed for months or years, since many people don’t realize they have an interrupted breathing pattern during the night. It is difficult to diagnose, as there are no blood tests or routine exams that can pinpoint it, but your dentist can usually see the effects of the condition. Because sleep apnea involves the tongue, jaw, and muscles of the throat and mouth, your dental provider can help if you suspect that you have sleep apnea. Not only can our dentists evaluate for sleep apnea, dentists are also often on the front line of sleep apnea treatment in Colorado Springs, because the appliances they can create are non-invasive, custom-fit, and often less expensive than other options.
While OSA affects mainly men and those who are moderately or severely overweight, this condition is appearing more frequently in women and children. In a recent study, over half of children diagnosed with ADHD were also found to suffer from sleep apnea or other sleep disorders. So, keeping tabs on your sleep quality and overall health is a good idea for anyone of any age.
There are many different types of sleep apnea treatments in Colorado Springs available for OSA today, including:
• Oral/dental appliances
• CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines
• Surgery to fix tongue/throat abnormalities
• Weight loss and stress management
If you are concerned that you or someone you love might have sleep apnea, schedule your evaluation today for sleep apnea treatment in Colorado Springs. We will take our time to address your concerns and put you on the path to better sleep and a greater quality of life!