Sleep Better with OSA Treatment
In the United States, over ten million people currently exhibit the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. This serious disorder leaves people sleep deprived and at risk of serious medical complications, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and depression. Fortunately, your Astoria general dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, will diagnose and recommend treatment for your sleep issues.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
In most cases, sleep apnea develops when the soft tissues in the back of the throat partially, or completely, obstruct airflow. As a result, the patient can stop breathing for up to a minute at a time. Once the brain becomes deprived of oxygen, however, it wakes the patient so they start breathing again. For patients with severe sleep apnea, this process may occur hundreds of times each night.
The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
How do you know if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea? Common symptoms of sleep apnea include chronic snoring, irritability, and an inability to focus at work or school. People also report waking up gasping for air or choking. Daytime drowsiness can increase the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel or becoming injured when operating machinery.
Treating Your Sleep Disorder
The first step towards treatment involves a consultation with your Astoria general dentist. Working closely with a medical doctor trained in sleep disorders, Dr. Leibowitz will ascertain the cause and severity of your sleep apnea. In some cases, simple lifestyle changes can reduce the symptoms of OSA, including:
- Losing weight
- Avoiding alcohol and caffeine four hours before bed
- Ensuring the bedroom is dark, cool, and free of distractions such as TV
In more severe cases, Dr. Leibowtiz may prescribe an oral appliance. The custom-made intraoral device is worn at night and looks similar to a mouth guard. The appliance moves the jaw forward, preventing soft tissue from collapsing during sleep and blocking airflow, resulting in a dramatic reduction in OSA symptoms.