If you wake up in the night struggling to breathe and experience headaches, drowsiness, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating in the daytime, you may have obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. Only a professional can diagnose this sleep-related breathing disorder, which is why it is important to contact Dr. Jignesh Patel, a dentist, Schaumburg, IL, to get a diagnosis and start treatment right away.
What is OSA?
During sleep, the soft tissues in the back of the throat relax, and in the case of OSA, those tissues block the airway. This interrupts the sleep cycle and causes patients to start and stop breathing many times, leading to loud snoring, gasping for air, or not breathing for short periods of time.
Ignoring OSA could lead to dangerous health problems, such as abnormal liver function, heart problems, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of developing type II diabetes or having a stroke. While OSA is a serious disorder, there are treatments available that can help patients get a full night of restorative sleep.
One treatment includes Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). By wearing a breathing mask that is attached to a CPAP machine, patients are provided a steady supply of air that keeps the airway unobstructed during sleep. A CPAP machine can be noisy, however, some patients do not like to sleep while wearing a mask.
A Moses® Appliance is a device, reminiscent of a retainer, which fits over the back of the teeth and helps keep the airway open during sleep. With the Moses® Appliance, there is no noisy machine or uncomfortable mask, and its discreet design allows patients to talk, drink, and move their mouth while wearing it.
Some cases can be lessened when patients make a change in their lifestyle and existing behaviors. When patients are able to lose weight, quit smoking, and reduce their alcohol consumption, they may be able to help alleviate their symptoms.