Do you snore, or wake up gasping for air?
Loud, aggressive snoring is one of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious health condition that affects your quality of sleep and your overall health. If sleep apnea is left untreated, it can often lead to severe health complications that can affect your quality of life.
DC Precision Dentistry is home to Dr. Justin Deckard. As an esteemed member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Deckard has undergone advanced training in order to provide effective treatment for those suffering from sleep apnea. Dr. Deckard can work with patients to spot signs of sleep apnea and design a treatment plan to address their symptoms. We encourage patients to discuss any symptoms they may be experiencing during their next appointment.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction in the airway that constricts the flow of oxygen. Patients repeatedly stop breathing numerous times throughout their sleep cycle. When the soft tissue in the back of the mouth collapses, oxygen is not able to freely flow through the necessary pathway. The lack of oxygen can cause a wide range of symptoms that can affect your overall health. It is crucial to treat sleep apnea as soon as possible.
Common signs of sleep apnea may include:
- Loud snoring
- Moodiness, Depression
- Chronic headaches
- Daytime sleepiness
- Waking up gasping for air
- Difficulty concentrating
- High blood pressure
Certain patients are at a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. If one or more of these risk factors apply to you, be sure to talk to a professional to determine if there is anything you can do to lower your risk and improve your health.
Risk factors for sleep apnea:
- A family history of obstructive sleep apnea
- Large neck circumference
- Over the age of 40
Studies suggest that patients with sleep apnea are more prone to heart attacks, depression, strokes, and other severe health concerns. Understanding your risk and the signs of sleep apnea may benefit you in the future.
Treatment For Sleep Apnea in Washington, DC
For patients who are exhibiting signs of sleep apnea, Dr. Deckard may work with you to order the necessary screenings and sleep testing. The type of treatment you receive will depend on your overall health and the severity of sleep apnea. Dr. Deckard may advise patients to change certain lifestyle habits that may contribute to sleep apnea.
At DC Precision Dentistry, Dr. Deckard offers a full range of sleep apnea solutions for patients in need. As an alternative to the CPAP machine, Dr. Deckard may recommend an oral sleep appliance. The goal of an oral sleep appliance is to reposition the jaw to allow proper airflow to pass through the appropriate passages. Oral appliance therapy is often successful for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea or who have proven to be intolerant of the CPAP machine.
If you suspect you are someone you love may have developed sleep apnea, contact our Washington, DC dentist office. To schedule an appointment, call (202) 851-7554 or request an appointment online.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
What happens if I don’t treat my sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can lead to much more serious issues if it’s left untreated. In the short term, you can suffer from depression, irritability, and are at a higher risk for things like falling asleep at the wheel. In the long term, sleep apnea has been shown to put people at a higher risk for stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, and high blood pressure.
If I’m not obese, can I get sleep apnea?
While obesity tends to make you a lot more likely to develop sleep apnea, there are other things that make you more likely to get it as well. You aren’t safe from sleep apnea risk if you aren’t obese. If you’re male, have diabetes, or have a family history of sleep apnea, your risk is increased.
Is sleep apnea considered a disability?
Sleep apnea isn’t considered a disability. However, sleep apnea can put you at risk for breathing issues or heart problems. Depending on the condition, it may be considered a disability.