Treating Sleep Apnea in Corvallis, OR
Most cases of sleep apnea go undiagnosed, but the most common sign is loud snoring.. Does your partner or family often complain about your snoring? Snoring is a common condition, affecting millions of people worldwide.
However, people who snore heavily are at more likely to have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea, which can lead to a variety of larger health problems. Sleep apnea can be a huge detriment to you quality life. Get on the road to a good night’s rest by diagnosing and treating your snoring problem at the office of Kent Burnett, DDS in Corvallis, OR.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (or OSA) is a condition, where the sufferer experiences an interruption in their breathing during sleep. This interruption can last for a number of seconds, and to an outside observer will appear as if the person is holding their breath.
Patients with OSA will typically snort or snore loudly, and then recommence breathing with a large breath. The severity of sleep apnea varies from person to person, but a sufferer with severe sleep apnea may experience more than a hundred episodes of interrupted breathing in one typical night.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is directly correlated to obesity. During an episode of interrupted breathing, the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway. Having excess fat in the area around the neck can make a patient more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
OSA also has a variety of other causes and contributing factors, including: old age, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, drinking too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes, drugs, and a genetic predisposition to the condition.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The primary indicator of sleep apnea is interrupted breathing when sleeping. There are also a number of other symptoms of the disorder. Due to having interrupted sleep patterns, patients with OSA are more likely to suffer from chronic fatigue, insomnia, and falling asleep regularly during the day. It’s also not uncommon to wake up with a headache, which could be a sign of decreased oxygen to the brain during the night.
Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?
Sleep apnea has been linked to a range of serious health problems, including: high blood pressure, diabetes, reflux disease, heart disease, and even heart attack. It’s also more likely for patients with sleep apnea to be less awake, putting them at risk for getting into traffic accidents. If you think you’re suffering from sleep apnea, you should seek professional treatment immediately.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
While lifestyle can play a big part in the treatment for sleep apnea by losing weight and cutting back on smoking and alcohol, there are also other complementary treatment options.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is a non-invasive, but successful method of treating OSA. There are two main therapies available.
Tongue Retainers. In many cases of obstructive sleep apnea, the tongue relaxes and falls into the back of the throat, blocking airflow from the lungs to the brain. Tongue retainers work by changing the position of the tongue in the mouth during sleep, so that the airway becomes less obstructed and OSA symptoms are reduced.
Mandibular Advancement Devices. Sleep apnea symptoms can also be improved by wearing mandibular advancement devices, also known as MADs. These devices look similar to mouthguards and push the bottom jaw down slightly, moving the tongue forward and creating a larger area of space behind the palate. This reduces the likelihood of full obstruction taking place. Dr. Burnett has extensive experience with using SomnoDent and SomnoDent SUAD devices, as well as the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) appliance to successfully treat OSA.
Positive Airway Pressure
Positive Airway Pressure (also called PAP) is a common non-surgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Patients using PAP treatment wear a mask over their mouth and nose while they sleep. This mask is attached to a machine which delivers a positive supply of air with a force strong enough to push past the blockage. There are different types of PAP machines, but the most common is the CPAP machine which delivers continuous positive air pressure during the night. Although this is a common treatment for sleep apnea, some people find the masks associated with PAP machines uncomfortable and too interfering in their sleep.
Sleep Apnea Solutions at Kent Burnett, DDS
Dr. Burnett and his team have the skill and experience necessary to recommend effective treatments to help you get your sleep apnea under control. Start feeling rested again by treating your sleep apnea today, make a consultation appointment at 541-588-1100.
Initial Visit & Forms
As a convenience to our patients, all the necessary forms are available to be downloaded, filled out either as a fillable PDF or printed and completed by hand. Either way you will save time at your initial visit by bringing the completed forms to your initial visit, along with a list of any medications you are currently taking.