Managing Symptoms of Sleep Apnea to Improve Your Quality of Life
If you regularly wake in the middle of the night gasping for breath, experience excessive daytime tiredness, or have developed mood swings, you may suffer from sleep apnea. This condition not only affects your sleep and daily activities but can have a long-term impact on your health. Patients in Amarillo, TX, can find relief from distressing side effects with sleep apnea treatment from Shemen Dental Group. Dr. Eddy Sauer and Dr. Nathaniel Avirett are passionate about helping you sleep comfortably and improve your quality of life with conservative, low maintenance oral appliance therapy.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that is primarily characterized by the involuntary halting of breathing while asleep. The most common type of the condition is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when your throat muscles relax, collapsing the airway. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, sleep apnea affects more than 18 million Americans.
Causes of OSA
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to patients developing OSA. In adults, one of the most common causes of sleep apnea is obesity.
There are also a variety of biological factors that can cause sleep apnea to occur, such as an enlarged tongue or tonsils. While you may not know the cause of your condition, there are common signs that should prompt you to seek professional medical attention.
Sleep apnea not only affects your sleep and daily activities but can have a long-term impact on your health.
Common Signs & Symptoms
Despite potentially waking hundreds of times a night, many patients do not remember these sleep disturbances. However, there are a variety of symptoms that may indicate sleep apnea. While some of these signs may be noticeable to you, many symptoms of sleep apnea are more obvious to a sleeping partner.
You may suffer from sleep apnea if you experience:
- Dry mouth or a sore throat when you wake up
- Difficulty paying attention
- Headaches in the morning
- Frequent mood swings or irritability
- Loud snoring
- Awaking with shortness of breath
- Excessive daytime fatigue
If these symptoms are present, your doctor can refer you to a sleep specialist for special testing and proper diagnosis.
The Dangers of Untreated OSA
In addition to affecting your mood and productivity, OSA can have serious health consequences when left untreated. Sleep apnea has been linked to a variety of severe conditions, including:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Premature death
As such, it is imperative that patients with sleep apnea seek treatment in a timely fashion.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
At Shemen Dental Group, we offer a conservative method for treating OSA. The TAP® 3 is an oral appliance that is worn while sleeping. This device shifts the lower jaw forward to properly open the airway, reducing snoring and improving breathing.
We are dedicated to providing our patients with practical solutions that do not significantly interfere with their quality of life. Each TAP appliance is custom-made for a comfortable, precise fit. The TAP 3, in particular, is designed using smaller hardware which allows more room for the tongue.
Start Sleeping Better
Our team at Shemen Dental Group has helped many patients successfully manage their sleep apnea symptoms with personalized oral appliance therapy. If you have been diagnosed with OSA or believe you may have sleep apnea, contact us online or by phone at (806) 358-2472 to schedule a consultation.
"The staff at Shemen Dental Group treat you like part of the family. Every visit has been positive, and everyone goes out of their way to make you feel valued and comfortable."Randy D.