Do you wake up every morning feeling exhausted, struggling to concentrate throughout the day, and experiencing constant irritability? These symptoms could be more than just a lack of quality sleep — they could be signs of a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
If you’re struggling with obstructive sleep apnea, or you’re unsure if you have a sleep disorder, contact our Grand Haven dentist to schedule an evaluation.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of upper airway collapse during sleep, resulting in sleep-disordered breathing and disrupted sleep. Mild sleep apnea is a less severe form of the condition, while severe sleep apnea represents a more serious manifestation. Having obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed is crucial for proper treatment and management.
Ignoring OSA can result in major health implications. The most common risks include:
Symptoms of OSA can show differently during nighttime and daytime.
The nighttime symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
These symptoms can disrupt not only the individual’s sleep but also the sleep of their bed partner. If you or your bed partner notice any of these symptoms, especially when trying to fall asleep, seek medical assistance for proper evaluation and diagnosis.
During the day, individuals with obstructive sleep apnea may experience the following symptoms:
These symptoms can have a considerable effect on a person’s quality of life, affecting work performance, social interactions, and overall well-being.
Obstructive sleep apnea can have various causes and risk factors, including:
During a consultation for OSA, a sleep specialist will conduct an evaluation and diagnosis of the condition. This can include:
A sleep study is conducted either in a specialized laboratory or at home using a portable monitor, and is considered the most reliable approach for diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea, as it measures breathing disruptions during sleep.
During a sleep study, the following are monitored:
After a confirmed diagnosis, you’ll return to our dental office in Grand Haven where we’ll go over your treatment options.
Lifestyle changes can play a significant role in alleviating OSA symptoms. Changes that may be recommended include:
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the most effective treatment for severe obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP involves the delivery of pressurized air through a bedside machine and into the nose and/or mouth to maintain the airway open during sleep. Regular use of CPAP for moderate sleep apnea has been shown to significantly improve cognitive function, and general health status, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications.
Oral appliances are another treatment option for OSA. These specialized mouthpieces are designed to maintain the position of the jaw and tongue, reducing the pressure on the windpipe.
Surgical interventions, such as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), genioglossus advancement (GA), or even a tracheostomy, can be considered for severe cases of OSA or when other treatments have failed. However, this is the rarest treatment option as it’s the most invasive.
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway due to several factors, such as being overweight or obese, having large tonsils, or changes in hormone levels.
Although obstructive sleep apnea is usually not curable, treatment can effectively assist the majority of individuals in reducing breathing interruptions, enhancing sleep quality, and mitigating health-related repercussions.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by a physical blockage or collapse of the upper airway during sleep, leading to repeated interruptions in breathing. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is a neurological condition where the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing, causing pauses in breathing without physical airway obstruction.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a prevalent and potentially severe sleep disorder that affects a significant portion of the global population. If you’re struggling with a treatment that works best for you, contact our dentist in Grand Haven today. We’ll set up your appointment.