Do you often snore or feel exhausted during the day? These two seemingly minor symptoms could be an indicator of a major problem: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). How do we stop sleep apnea and help patients rest without interruption? What causes sleep apnea and what symptoms should people be aware of?
Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Apnea
Question: How does a patient develop OSA?
Answer: OSA occurs when the soft tissues in your throat and in the back of your mouth become too relaxed as you sleep, collapsing and blocking airflow. Soon, the patient stops breathing until the brain registers a sudden drop in oxygen and wakes the patient up. For some, this happens hundreds of times a night, even if the patient has no memory of these episodes. Factors behind OSA range from neck circumference, congestion issues, and obesity, to excessive alcohol consumption before bed.
Question: What are the symptoms to watch for?
Answer: Patients with the disorder report chronic snoring, waking up with dry mouth, feeling tired during the day, and episodes of waking up in the night choking or gasping for air. Moodiness, difficulty concentrating on tasks, and headaches are also common.
Question: How does an oral appliance help?
Answer: An oral appliance looks very similar to a nightguard and is worn as you sleep. The device repositions the jaw by moving it forward, which prevents the collapse of soft tissue and apneic episodes.
Question: Should I make changes to my sleeping habits?
Answer: You can try sleeping on your side instead of your back, going to bed and waking up at the same times every day, avoiding screens right before bed, and avoiding alcohol, large meals, or vigorous exercise in the two hours prior to going to bed.
Do You Have Questions About Sleep Apnea?
At Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, we can help you sleep easier with our oral appliances. We’ve proudly served our patients in Astoria, NY (including Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and all surrounding communities) since 1991. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Leibowitz, call our office in Astoria today at 718-728-8320.