The Swampscott Patient’s Guide
Treating Sleep Apnea: CPAP & its Alternatives
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. It can leave you feeling tired during the day and can keep your bed partner from getting the sleep they need.
Sleep apnea can manifest itself in a variety of ways including through loud snoring, morning headaches, and daytime fatigue.
CPAP is the conventional treatment option prescribed to many sleep apnea patients. It works by delivering pressurized air through a mask that a patient wears while they sleep. While it can be effective for some, many patients find CPAP therapy to be uncomfortable and have a hard time wearing the mask through the night.
For patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, an oral appliance or snore guard may be the perfect CPAP alternative.
How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Overall Health
Sleep apnea has a direct impact on your health and long-term well-being. Patients that are overweight are more likely to develop sleep apnea, and those with sleep apnea are more likely to suffer from a variety of health concerns including, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
While factors such as age and weight can contribute to the severity, sleep apnea can affect anyone no matter how old they are. Finding out if you have sleep apnea and treating it can save your life.
If you or a loved one currently experience any of the symptoms involved with sleep apnea, it’s important to take a sleep test as soon as possible.
Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Snoring is extremely common. In fact, about two out of five men and one out of four women habitually snore. A significant portion of those that snore is also afflicted with sleep apnea. The only way to find out if your snoring is an indicator of a sleep disorder is by undergoing a sleep study.
Sleep studies can be taken either at a clinic or by using a take-home test. They’re safe, easy, and convenient. We work closely with sleep specialists and would be delighted to refer you to one. Doing so would help you get the accurate diagnosis you need.
Whether you need help with snoring or sleep apnea, we are here to help. We have hundreds of different oral appliances and are confident we can find the one that meets your unique needs.
Your Sleep Apnea FAQs Answered
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a serious condition that causes a person to stop breathing while asleep. Typically, the sufferer will stop breathing due to an obstruction in their throat for as many as 40 times per hour. The next morning they’ll wake up feeling extremely drowsy due to having low quality sleep.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Snoring is typically the first sign of sleep apnea, but it doesn’t always mean you have the condition. If your snoring is accompanied by symptoms like daytime drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, mood swings, irritability and memory loss, then you should visit your physician to receive a sleep study.
How is sleep apnea treated?
Sleep apnea is typically treated with a CPAP mask, which is worn over your face and continuously blows air through your nose and throat to clear any obstruction.
Due to its discomfort, sufferers stop using their CPAP mask. An oral appliance is a smaller, more comfortable alternative that’s similar to a mouthguard. It helps move your jaw forward and opens up your airway so you can breathe properly throughout the night.
Surgery can also be a method of treatment for more severe cases.
What are the consequences of untreated sleep apnea?
Disturbed and interrupted sleep can cause a wide variety of problems, from the minor to the very serious. These health conditions associated with sleep apnea include heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, hypertension, sexual dysfunction, obesity, and sometimes fatality.
Who's typically at risk for sleep apnea?
Generally, older adults and males are at a higher risk for sleep apnea. Also, overweight people, those who smoke and drink excessively, as well as someone with a family history of the condition may be at a greater risk.