Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common condition that can have an enormous impact on your overall quality of life. If you suffer from sleep apnea, your breathing stops during the night, causing you to wake up repeatedly. Drs. Joseph D. Murray and William Alexander use our advanced diagnostic tools to improve the success of our sleep apnea treatment. For most of our sleep apnea patients, we can effectively treat the condition using a simple oral splint. Schedule a sleep apnea consultation at our East Point practice today and get started on the path to a better night’s sleep.
Understanding the Condition
Sleep apnea is categorized as central or obstructive. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is less common, and occurs when your body stops sending the necessary signals to trigger breathing. Treatment for this condition requires the care of a sleep specialist. OSA is a far more common condition which causes your soft palate, tongue, and throat to collapse during sleep. This blocks your airways, and you will wake up multiple times every night. Often, you will be unaware of these interruptions in your sleep. However, you will typically suffer from persistent exhaustion and daytime sleepiness. Other common symptoms include irritability, mood swings, forgetfulness, snoring, and chronic headaches.
Evaluation and Diagnosis
When you come to us for treatment, we will first conduct an evaluation to determine whether you are showing indications of sleep apnea. We can provide you with a device to test your apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), or the number of times you wake up every night. If your reading indicates that you do suffer from sleep apnea, we will send you to a sleep specialist for a definitive diagnosis.
We can also assess the structure of your smile to determine whether you suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which can contribute to this condition. If your bite is misaligned, it can affect the position of the muscles and tongue, which can obstruct the airway during sleep and cause OSA. Thanks to our careful evaluation, we can provide more personalized, accurate care.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Many care providers use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines to treat sleep apnea. Patients are given a mask to wear during the night, and the CPAP machine then emits a steady stream of air through the mask to keep airways open. Unfortunately, CPAP machines can be uncomfortable, and many patients are unable to sleep with these devices.
We offer very effective sleep apnea treatment using simple oral splints. These oral appliances fit over your front teeth. As you sleep, the splint will realign your jaw and tighten your soft tissues. In this way, it will prevent the tissue from drooping and blocking the flow of air. Oral splints are custom-made to fit comfortably in your mouth.
If your physician or sleep care specialist prescribed CPAP, and you are not happy with the results, an oral splint may be a better solution. After you bring a letter from your physician stating that you are intolerant to CPAP therapy, we can begin the process of creating your oral splint.
The Importance of Seeking Treatment
You may be surprised at the tremendous benefits that sleep apnea treatment can have on your overall well-being. With a better night’s sleep, you might find that your mood and productivity substantially improve. You might find that physical symptoms, like headaches and muscle tension, decrease dramatically. Sleep apnea treatment can benefit your long-term health, as well. Untreated OSA can lead to a number of serious concerns, including heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, and stroke.
Schedule Your Consultation
Take action to enhance your quality of life and protect your future health. If you suffer from the symptoms of sleep apnea, contact our office today to book your first appointment.