Do you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea? Maybe your spouse tell you that you snore or gasp in your sleep? Or maybe you get a full night of sleep, but feel like you had no rest? If that is you, you may have sleep apnea. And the good news is that there is a simple solution that avoids the awkward and uncomfortable CPAP machine.
What is sleep apnea?
The effects of obstructive sleep apnea
With obstructive sleep apnea the airway can become completely blocked, which temporarily stops your breathing. When your brain detects the lack of oxygen, it prompts a momentary stimulation, and you draw a breath. You may have hundreds of these episodes each night and not remember any of them. This cycle robs you of sound sleep, and can have effects that outweigh constant fatigue. It can lead to weight gain, abnormal heart rhythms, as well as high blood pressure.
Signs of sleep apnea
- You snore.
- You gasp or stop breathing during your sleep.
- You feel tired even after a full night’s sleep.
- You have high blood pressure.
- You have headaches when you wake up in the morning.
- You nod off or fall asleep during the day.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Answering yes to these questions does not necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea. Proper diagnosis is important. We recommend an at home sleep study. We will work with your physician to help you obtain a prescription, which could get the study covered under your medical insurance. If it is determined you suffer from sleep apnea, we can treat it.
Traditionally your options for relief have been surgery, or the high maintenance CPAP machine. Now there is a simple alternative solution. Oral appliances are now the preferred treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. We use a TAP device (Thornton Anterior Positioning), pictured above. It is fitted to your teeth. It is designed to reposition your lower jaw forward slightly during sleep to keep your air passage unobstructed.
Dr. Bolt understands sleep apnea, because he suffers from it himself. It is important to know that some cases are so severe that an oral mandibular appliance will not be enough and a CPAP will be necessary. Dr. Bolt will be able to tell you how severe your case is and what is the best solution.
If you think you may be suffering with sleep apnea, you may request an appointment with our office.