You wake up in your chair and look up at your co-worker’s concerned face. This is the third time today that they’ve spotted you napping at your desk. You don’t have a good excuse because you don’t have one at all. You went to bed at a reasonable hour, but when you woke up, it felt like you had been up all night. What could be causing this? This is actually a common symptom of sleep apnea, a condition that affects about 20 million Americans every night. Dr. Philip Lisk wants you to know why it’s so important for you to find out if you have sleep apnea, and how it can be treated.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in a patient’s mouth and throat obstructs their airway while they sleep. The airway can become completely blocked, and this can happen many times over the course of the night. It does not always wake a person up, so many people are completely unaware that they have sleep apnea. They just notice that no matter how much they sleep, they never feel rested. Some other common symptoms are:
- Loud snoring
- Waking up gasping or out of breath
- Morning headaches
- High blood pressure
The effects of this condition go way beyond simply being exhausted. This oxygen deprivation is very stressful on the body, and can lead patients to suffer heart attacks and strokes more frequently. If you or your loved ones are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to take action.
What You Can Do
Nearly 80% of the people with sleep apnea go undiagnosed, so the first step is to actually figure out if you have it or not. Dr. Lisk works closely with local sleep doctors and can refer you to a specialist to get a proper diagnosis. They may have you perform a sleep study either in a lab or at home, but either will give them enough information to know whether you have sleep apnea or not. After this, it’s time to focus on treatment.
Common treatments for sleep apnea include surgery or a CPAP machine, but many patients prefer a less invasive approach. One of the simplest forms of sleep apnea therapy in North Raleigh is oral appliance therapy.
This would involve you wearing a small device similar to a mouthguard to bed every night. It would help alleviate your sleep apnea by gently shifting your jaw forward, preventing the soft tissue of your mouth and throat from relaxing into your airway. Every oral appliance is custom made for each patient out of strong and flexible materials. This assures a comfortable fit, and allows a patient to speak and drink normally while wearing one. Oral appliances have proven very effective, as 95% of the people who regularly use one have seen a dramatic improvement in their sleep quality.
Want To Know More?
Sleep apnea can dramatically affect a person’s quality of life and seriously endanger their health. If you keep waking up exhausted, call us today. It could be the first step on the path to help you rest soundly. Take control of your sleep today.