Obstructive Sleep Apnea Doctors in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea, which can sometimes be accompanied by snoring, is a sleep condition in which you momentarily stop breathing while you sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea, and obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. Obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA, occurs when airways become partially or fully blocked during sleep. When your airways become blocked during sleep, your body has to work harder to carry air to your lungs, and sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea will often let out a gasp once breathing returns to normal.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that may lead to an increased risk of certain life-threatening conditions, such as heart attack or hypoxemia. If you or a loved one suffers from obstructive sleep apnea, a consultation with a Dental365Sleep specialist can help you discover what treatment options are available.
What causes obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea arises when your airways become fully or partially blocked, preventing air from properly flowing to your lungs. Risk factors for developing obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Being overweight
- Having a thick neck
- Having small airways in your nose, throat, or mouth
- Having enlarged tonsils
- Having excess tissue in the back of your throat
- Having a large tongue
- Having a deviated septum
- Having high blood pressure or diabetes
- Being susceptible to heart failure or stroke
What are the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?
Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea may overlap with those of other types of sleep apnea. However, since the causes of sleep apnea differ, symptoms may also differ depending on the type of apnea that you have. Only through testing by your doctor, will you know whether you are suffering from central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, or complex sleep apnea syndrome. Signs and symptoms of OSA may include:
- Feeling tired or fatigued during the day
- Waking up with headaches, dry mouth, or a sore throat
- Having trouble concentrating during the day
- Feeling depressed or irritable
- Difficulties sleeping
- Difficulties waking up
- Waking up abruptly, gasping for air or feeling as though you are choking
How is obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed?
To help diagnose sleep apnea, your doctor will begin by gathering information about your sleep history as well as your general medical history. If someone sleeps in the same household as you, they can also help provide your doctor with additional information about your sleeping patterns and behaviors. Your doctor can then refer you to a sleep specialist who can help determine the cause of your sleep apnea and help identify and recommend potential treatment options.
A visit with a sleep specialist may include an in-lab or an at-home sleep apnea test to help measure specific sleep data and help determine which type of sleep apnea you may be suffering from. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend an additional visit to an ear, nose and throat doctor for further diagnosis.
Can obstructive sleep apnea lead to complications if left untreated?
Left untreated, sleep apnea may lead to additional complications, including:
- High blood pressure
- Type II diabetes
- Liver abnormalities
- Metabolic syndrome
- Complications during surgery
- Complications with certain medications
How is obstructive sleep apnea treated?
Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend various treatment options, including lifestyle changes and surgical treatment options. Before recommending surgery, your doctor may suggest the following conservative treatment options:
- Maintaining a healthy weight and diet
- Avoiding alcohol consumption and use of sleeping pills
- Repositioning how you sleep e.g. avoid sleeping on your back
- Nasal spray
- CPAP therapy
- Oral appliance therapy
If you or a loved one is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, a consultation with a dental sleep specialist can help you be on your way towards achieving a better night’s rest. The dental sleep specialists at Dental365Sleep offer modern treatment solutions with high-quality care and appointment availability seven days a week for maximum convenience. Call 844.365.DENTAL or click the appointment request button to schedule an appointment or to learn more about treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea.