Spring dentist explains mild obstructive sleep apnea
Sleep disorders such as mild obstructive sleep apnea can have a dramatic effect on one’s quality of life. When patients are not well rested, they may feel tired during the day, have reduced memory and concentration, and may put themselves and others at risk while driving or operating machinery with daytime grogginess. By seeking diagnosis for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, patients can regain their lives and enjoy a proper night’s sleep finally.
Mild sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that can affect patients in the Spring community. It is often characterized by snoring, gasping for breath during the night, and daytime tiredness. Many times, sleeping partners are the ones who notice the problem and bring it to the individual’s attention. This is when a medical professional should be seen to receive a proper diagnosis of the condition.
Mild obstructive sleep apnea occurs when there is a blockage in the airways. This may be caused by excess fat on the neck resulting from obesity, the tongue falling back into the throat, or from misalignment of the jaw, which can reduce the size of the airway. When patients receive a diagnosis of sleep apnea through a sleep study, the first treatment considered by doctors is CPAP therapy. CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, is a device that is used to keep the airways open during sleep. However, these devices can be cumbersome and uncomfortable, causing many patients to avoid using them. Compliance with therapy is key to enjoying the benefits of treatment, and many patients are unhappy with CPAP therapy. Instead, they may benefit from alternative treatments.
Oral appliance therapy uses a special mouth guard worn at night, which realigns the jaw and holds the tongue down to open the airway without the need for a large CPAP mask. This treatment is often considered over CPAP therapy, as it is easy to use and comfortable for the patient to wear, improving compliance. For severe cases of sleep apnea, patients may even need to consider lifestyle changes and surgery.
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