Sleep apnea is a dangerous illness that affects more than 18 million Americans. Many of the people affected by the disease are not being treated or have not received effective treatment. Because this disease affects your ability to breathe, it can be life threatening if not properly handled. In the worst case, a patient can stop breathing almost 50 times every sixty minutes! There are a few signs that could point to sleep apnea that a partner can help you pinpoint, but the most effective way to know for sure is to come into our office for an evaluation.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects the rear portion of your throat. When the muscles in this area become too relaxed, they can collapse. This means that your airway is no longer open, which deprives your body of necessary oxygen. Your brain naturally wakes you up when this occurs, in order to restore breathing. For the patient that stops breathing 50 times an hour that results in a lot of lost sleep. This decreased sleep, whether in quantity or quality, begins to wreak havoc on a patient’s overall health. Eventually, patients become at risk for issues that include the inability to focus, depression, and chronic headaches, not to mention life threatening illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea at Home
There are many signs that can point to the fact that you may have sleep apnea. Most of these signs need to be brought to your attention by a partner or family member that observes you sleeping, but a few you may be able to see for yourself:
In general, if your partner complains about your snoring and despite your best efforts you are unable to stop or if you stop breathing even a few times, it is time to come talk to us about a sleep apnea evaluation.
Experts in Sleep Apnea
The staff at Toomin & Bieber is well versed in the signs and dangers of sleep apnea. We have helped hundreds of patients understand the disease as well as find effective treatment. The solution is not always surgery, as is the common thought in society today. In fact, at Toomin & Bieber, we help our patients try to adjust their lifestyle habits first, as a least invasive way to treat sleep apnea. Sometimes a change in diet or habits (drinking alcohol or eating late at night) can help to alleviate the cause for sleep apnea, which is why we start with simple changes first. If these changes do not elicit a positive response, we have other options available to help you sleep.
Sleep apnea treatment does not automatically mean that you will need the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine. We know how obtrusive this machine can be, making sleep difficult despite the fact that you are breathing correctly. At our office, we help to fit our patients with an oral appliance that helps to open up the airway without making the patient feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable while sleeping. The appliance is made by a lab to fit your mouth perfectly. It adjusts your lower jaw, which helps to prevent the collapse of the muscles in the back of your throat. The appliance is similar to a mouth guard, which is very easy to wear, enabling you to sleep well every night. The repositioning of your jaw by the mouth guard enables you to have a properly positioned tongue and uvula, enabling proper breathing all night long.
If you are tired of not getting proper sleep, or always feeling as if you do not have enough energy to get through your days, call Toomin & Bieber today! We can help you get to the bottom of your sleep problems, enabling you to rest well once again. We know how important it is for you to get a good night’s sleep; we will do whatever it takes to help you get there, starting with the least invasive measures possible to see if they have an impact on your life. In the end, our oral appliance therapy can help you reposition your jaw and get the sleep you need without any discomfort, invasive surgeries, or embarrassment.
Call us today for your sleep apnea evaluation!