The Farmington Patient’s Guide
Alternatives to CPAP
CPAP is the most commonly prescribed treatment for severe sleep apnea and is very effective if one can tolerate it. It works well for you or a loved one, by all means, stay with it. For many patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, or who cannot tolerate a CPAP, dental appliances are an effective and convenient alternative.
A dental appliance is a small device that gently keeps the airway open while you sleep and doesn’t interfere with your mobility or comfort while sleeping. Unlike CPAP, an oral appliance is completely portable.
An oral appliance doesn’t force you to sleep in a particular position and no power source is required. That’s why many patients find an oral appliance to be much less restrictive than CPAP. Dr. Schumacher will see to it that you get the treatment that works best for you.
The Risks of Ignoring Your Sleep Apnea
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, at least 25 million Americans are suffering from sleep apnea, and most of these patients don’t even realize they have it. Unfortunately, the consequences of untreated sleep apnea are much more serious than many people realize.
If you have untreated sleep apnea, you’re more likely to suffer from a stroke or a heart attack, which could prove fatal. Additionally, sleep apnea leaves you more vulnerable to a number of medical conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Living with sleep apnea can make you feel tired and listless throughout the day. In fact, many patients fall asleep at inappropriate times due to the fatigue that results from their inability to get a restful night’s sleep. The irritability and difficulty concentrating that often results from sleep apnea can damage your personal and professional life.
We Treat Sleep Apnea and Snoring
We treat both sleep apnea and snoring. In fact, heavy snoring is often a sign that a patient suffers from sleep apnea.
If you think you might be living with sleep apnea, or if you’ve already been diagnosed with it, Dr. Schumacher will make sure you get the proper care. We’ll design an individualized treatment plan just for you.
If we find that your heavy snoring isn’t due to sleep apnea, we can still treat your snoring using a small and convenient oral appliance. This will allow you to get relief and your loved ones to get a good night’s sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a severe medical condition that restricts a person’s airway while they sleep. This lack of breathing is caused when tissues in the throat collapse, preventing air from traveling to the lungs. Breathing is a vital function, so when your sleep pattern is disrupted, it can cause extreme sleepiness and fatigue during the day.
What are the symptoms of OSA?
Daytime and nighttime symptoms vary, but both are hard to identify without professional help. Common symptoms include excessive daytime fatigue, loud or disruptive snoring, and gasping for air during sleep.
If you or someone you care about exhibits signs of any of these symptoms, please seek advice from Dr. Schumacher, our Farmington sleep dentist.
What are the potential consequences of OSA if left untreated?
Whether you’re diagnosed or not, if you don’t seek treatment, in some rare cases, sleep apnea can cause death. Other consequences range from heart disease and heart attack to high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and a decrease in your overall quality of life.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact our office to discuss your treatment options with Dr. Schumacher. He will help you get the diagnosis and treatment that you deserve.
What can increase your risk of developing OSA?
Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages and sizes, but there are a few physical traits that put you at an increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. For example, if you’re overweight or obese, it is easier to develop sleep apnea due to excess tissue in your throat. However, even slim people can have snoring and sleep apnea.