Does your sleeping partner suffer from your constant snoring? Have you been told that you gasp for breath at night while sleeping? Do you deal with daytime fatigue impacting your day-to-day life, even after spending the right amount of time each night sleeping? If this sounds like you, the problem may be more than just snoring. It could be a sleeping disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.
Understanding OSA (obstructive sleep apnea)
Sleeping disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea impact the quality of a patient’s rest and daily life. Because of a blocked airway, the patient cannot breathe and instead wakes up. This cycle of sleeping and waking can occur hundreds of times in one night and keeps patients from reaching the deeper levels of sleep responsible for ensuring patients feel well-rested. Obstructive sleep apnea, when diagnosed by a primary care physician, is often treated by wearing a cumbersome machine called a CPAP device. Many individuals fail to comply with treatment because of the complications of wearing this uncomfortable mask and maintaining the large device.
What is the cause of obstructive sleep apnea?
The cause of this condition is often a blockage in the airway, which may be a result of:
- The tongue falling back towards the throat
- Excess fat tissue on the neck area due to obesity
- A poorly aligned jaw that reduces the airways
What can be done about obstructive sleep apnea?
When patients think of sleeping disorders, they might not first think of a dentist. However, dentists can assist! Dr. Shane Nelson of Dentistry by Shane Nelson DDS can educate patients on the benefits of oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea. By using a special mouthguard designed specifically for the patient, the individual can keep their airways open and get a proper night’s sleep. This can dramatically improve their day-to-day quality of life, reducing common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, including daytime fatigue, poor memory and concentration, and chronic headaches.
Learn more about the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea by speaking with Dr. Shane Nelson
At Dentistry by Shane Nelson, patients can get a proper evaluation and determine if they could benefit from oral appliance therapy versus a traditional CPAP machine recommended by primary care physicians. Call (913) 297-7800 to request a consultation appointment at 7001 West 121st Street in Overland Park, Kansas.