How Davenport Smiles Can Help With Sleep Apnea
Approximately 20 million Americans suffer from “obstructive sleep apnea” (OSA), a serious medical condition that causes you to momentarily stop breathing throughout the night. People who suffer from sleep apnea may stop breathing hundreds of times during the night. If you feel lethargic during the day or your partner tells you that you stop breathing during the night, obstructive sleep apnea may be contributing to these and many other symptoms or medical conditions. You should contact Dr. Navi Virk, our highly skilled sleep apnea dentist in the Spokane area right away. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Virk can determine if you have sleep apnea, and get started on a treatment plan designed specifically for you. There are a variety of treatments for sleep apnea; the challenge lies in figuring out which one is best for you.
Sleep apnea is defined as the “cessation of breathing during sleep for at least ten seconds at least five times an hour.” The word “apnea” comes from the Greek meaning “want of breath.” With most patients who come to us with this problem, it was their partner who told them they stopped breathing during the night. They themselves did not even realize they had sleep apnea. Once your treatment begins at Davenport Smiles, you will find that you feel better and especially more well-rested. General fatigue as well as daytime fatigue will lessen, your blood pressure will likely go down, and your ability to concentrate will probably improve.
Medical Problems Associated with Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can lead to or contribute to a number of other medical problems. Here is a list of sleep apnea symptoms:
Sleep Apnea Diagnosis
A polysomnogram (PSG) is a special series of tests performed while you sleep, and this tool helps us in diagnosing sleep apnea. During a PSG test, your eye movement, brain functions, muscle activity, blood oxygen levels and breathing patterns will be closely monitored so we can identify any abnormalities. Other tools for diagnosis may be an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan, and other concentration and cognitive tests. Once we accurately diagnose sleep apnea, we can begin developing a treatment plan specially designed for you.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Each patient’s treatment plan for sleep apnea will be different. Treatment for sleep apnea can be as simple as a lifestyle change such as losing weight or changing your diet. We may even suggest changing your body position during sleep or how you position your pillows.
A specially designed oral appliance, which prevents airway blockage may help other patients. While in more severe cases of apnea surgery to prevent upper airway obstruction could be required.
To determine which treatment option is best for you, Dr.Virk will first examine your living habits and make recommendations for behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy might include such things as sleeping in a new position or avoidance of sedatives or alchohol. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) may be suggested. CPAP uses a mask with an air blower to force air through the patient’s upper airway, assuring constant inhalation of adequate amounts of oxygen. Although CPAP can be uncomfortable, it does work for many of our patients. Dr. Virk will help you decide which dental sleep medicine treatment or combination of treatments will work best for you.
If you or your partner suffers from sleep apnea, please contact Davenport Smiles in Spokane, WA. Schedule a new patient oral health examination with our sleep apnea dentist expert, Dr. Virk. After a thorough evaluation, we can determine whether or not you have sleep apnea and get you a treatment plan that’s right for you.