Grand Rapids Orthodontist Serving Grand Rapids, Cascade, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Lowell, Rockford, Caledonia, Grandville, Kentwood, Jenison, Belmont & Ionia, Michigan (MI)
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea (also called obstructive sleep apnea or OSA) is a chronic and serious medical condition that causes breathing to become obstructed and interrupted multiple times a night, sometimes hundreds of times in a single night. Interruptions occur when the soft tissues at the back of the throat relax and descend into the airway, partially or completely blocking it. Breathing interruptions can be very brief, causing sleep disturbance but not necessarily wakefulness, which means many patients suffer from the condition without knowing it. Each time breathing is interrupted, less oxygen reaches the lungs, blood stream, and organs. Because of this, untreated sleep apnea can cause increased risks for high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, depression, and obesity. People with sleep apnea often have excessive daytime sleepiness, elevating their risk for serious accidents, including car accidents.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea symptoms can vary from one person to another and may include:
- gasping for air during sleep
- snorting or choking noises during the night
- feelings of drowsiness during the day
- feeling unrefreshed upon waking
- unintentionally falling asleep during the day
- suffering from headaches when waking in the morning
Many people with sleep apnea also have problems focusing or concentrating at work, and memory can also be affected.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Before treatment begins, a sleep study may be required to ensure that apnea is indeed present. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, typical treatment options may include:
- a special, custom-made mouth guard to help hold the jaw slightly forward during sleep, keeping the airway open so that breathing can continue normally;
- CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) to provide a steady stream of air through the mouth and nose during sleep, helping to prevent airway collapse.
The specific option used during treatment will be determined by a comprehensive evaluation, sleep study results, and other factors. Sleep apnea is a serious issue that can cause major and even life-threatening medical problems.
Get Help At Karl Orthodontics For Sleep Apnea Treatment In Grand Rapids, MI
If you experience daytime drowsiness, snoring, or other symptoms, call our Grand Rapids orthodontics office and schedule an evaluation today. Come experience Karl Orthodontics and you will see we offer effective sleep apnea treatment to patients in and around Grand Rapids, Cascade, Forest Hills, East Grand Rapids, Lowell, Rockford, Caledonia, Grandville, Kentwood, Jenison, Belmont and Ionia, Michigan.