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Do you ever wonder why you feel so sleepy all day even when you get seven to eight hours sleep each night? Maybe someone has told you that you snore very loudly. If so, pay attention. You may have obstructive sleep apnea. It is a sleep disorder where you literally stop breathing.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
It is a serious condition where your breathing stops and starts from five to more than 30 times every hour. It can stop for anywhere from 10 seconds to one minute. If you quit breathing from five to 15 times each hour, you have mild OSA. From 15 to 30 times each hour, you have moderate OSA. When you stop breathing for 30 or more times each hour, you have severe OSA. You would have a sleep test, either at a lab or a home study, to determine how often you quit breathing each hour. The test also measures your blood saturation level.
With OSA, your muscles under the soft palate cause it to collapse and block your airway. When you wake up, your muscles tighten up and you can breathe once again. Older people have OSA more frequently than younger people because our muscles tend to relax with age.
The health consequences of having OSA are severe. You have a higher risk for high blood pressure, stroke or heart problems. You also have a greater risk of having a vehicle accident or an accident at work.
What Are the Sleep Apnea Symptoms I Might Notice?
While others may notice your snoring and choking in your sleep, you may notice:
- Waking up gasping for air
- Morning headaches almost every day
- Unexplained sleepiness
- Trouble with cognitive functions, including short-term memory and concentration
About 85 percent of people with OSA snore, but all people who snore do not have OSA.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea causes and risk factors include the following:
- Upper airway abnormalities
- Large neck (17 inch circumference for men)
- Males and post-menopausal women
What Treatments Do Your Offer for Sleep Apnea in Altamonte Springs?
For mild OSA, you may try to lose weight, stop smoking, and sleep on your side instead of your back. At our dental office, we can supply you with an oral appliance if you have mild or moderate OSA. If you have severe OSA, you may need surgery, but it is a last resort. CPAP machines and oral appliances often treat OSA well on their own. To learn more about how our dentist can treat OSA with an oral appliance, please contact our office and arrange an appointment.
Our dentist can screen you for OSA by examining your oral cavity and asking about your symptoms. He or she would refer you to a physician for a diagnosis. If you have health insurance, it would most likely cover oral appliance therapy. Once you have the diagnosis, you’ll get a prescription for an oral appliance which your dentist would fill.
What Is an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea Like to Wear?
A sleep apnea mouthpiece is an oral appliance, also called a mandibular repositioning device, which is easy to wear, especially if you’ve even worn a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer.
How Much Should I Expect to Pay for a Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece?
We figure your cost on the type of oral appliance you need, how many times it needs adjusting, and your insurance coverage for an oral appliance for sleep apnea in Altamonte Springs.
How Can I Benefit From Choosing Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) has many benefits for individuals with mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea in Altamonte Springs. Our dentist can help you get the best sleep apnea mouth guard which will help your airway to stay open so you can breathe normally. Oral appliances are easy to use and have a higher compliance rate than CPAP machines. Some people feel claustrophobic wearing a mask. Others travel a lot and don’t want to bring the machine, hose, and mask with them. Our dentist can help you find an oral appliance which fits your lifestyle. Contact our office to make an appointment and discover how an oral appliance can change how you feel about OSA treatment.
Will My Medical Insurance Cover Oral Appliance Therapy at a Dentist’s Office?
Since OSA is a medical condition, health insurance typically covers it. Please refer to your plan to verify you have coverage. If you’re concerned about having OSA coverage, call your health insurance provider or talk to your plan administrator at work.