Getting the Treatment You Deserve
Sleep apnea is a severe medical condition that requires attention from a professional team. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to strokes, heart attacks, automobile accidents, and more adverse consequences.
While snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, they’re two separate conditions. However, Dr. Schumacher can treat your snoring even if it’s not related to sleep apnea. He is a qualified sleep dentist who’s been serving Farmington patients since 1986.
Getting Your Diagnosis
Dr. Schumacher provides sleep apnea care that increases the overall health and well-being of our patients. During your consultation, he’ll conduct a thorough examination and ask some basic questions about your lifestyle and your sleep habits.
A sleep study is the essential next step before getting your sleep apnea diagnosis. Your physician or primary care provider will order either an in‐lab study or an at‐home study, depending on your specific needs.
A physician must provide a sleep apnea diagnosis. Dr. Schumacher works with multiple sleep apnea doctors who can provide the necessary prescriptions to start sleep apnea treatment.
We’ve had great success treating both sleep apnea and snoring using oral appliances. This small device gently repositions your jaw to keep the airway unobstructed while you sleep.
CPAP & Alternative Sleep Apnea Treatments
After a physician determines that sleep apnea treatment is necessary, there are three main for treatment:
- CPAP Machines: A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is particularly useful for treating severe cases of sleep apnea. This device delivers a stream of warm air that you breathe throughout the night. The added air pressure helps keep your airway open, thus eliminating sleep apnea symptoms. Unfortunately, many patients find CPAP machines to be uncomfortable and restrictive. Furthermore, the CPAP mask limits the patient’s movement while they sleep. Over 50% of the patients that try CPAP end up stopping treatment in less than a year.
- Oral Appliances: Dr. Schumacher may suggest using an oral appliance if your sleep apnea symptoms are mild to moderate severity. This form of treatment provides a small, convenient option for symptom relief when compared to CPAP machines. An oral appliance looks like a mouthguard one would wear for sports, but it’s a sophisticated device that rests in your mouth while you sleep. Following your physician’s directions, Dr. Schumacher can design a customized appliance that will help you sleep better.
- Surgery: In more extreme cases, surgery is recommended to treat sleep apnea. This can include removing the tonsils, adenoids, or any excess tissue that’s blocking the airway.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does CPAP work for everyone?
No — simply put, a CPAP machine is not the ideal form of treatment for everyone living with sleep apnea. While it is the most common form of treatment, many patients experience great difficulty adjusting to sleeping with the face mask on. In addition to discomfort, other problems or side effects associated with using a CPAP machine include dry sinuses and headaches. If you’re currently using a CPAP machine for sleep apnea treatment but find it uncomfortable, contact Dr. Schumacher for an alternative treatment option.
Can sleep apnea go away without treatment?
Unfortunately, sleep apnea will not miraculously disappear if you ignore it. It’s a serious medical condition that can lead to a number of secondary health problems and even death when left untreated. Getting a proactive diagnosis and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is the best way to improve your quality of life and protect your overall health. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can also make a positive impact.
For example, if you’re suffering from obesity, implementing an exercise regimen and a healthy diet into your daily routine can help you shed excess weight and decrease symptoms of sleep apnea. Additionally, refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol may also help reduce your symptoms.
See Dr. Schumacher About Sleep Apnea
If you believe you might be suffering from sleep apnea, contact Desert Hills Dental Care at (505) 427-2936 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Schumacher. He’ll make sure you get the diagnosis and treatment you deserve.