Four things to know about obstructive sleep apnea

Patients who deal with snoring, daytime fatigue, and difficulty focusing at work after getting the right amount of sleep may be fighting with a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. The team at Peters Dental Associates describes obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, as a condition that results from a continuous blockage in the airways while a patient sleeps. Many patients don’t even realize that they have it, and the symptoms can make it difficult to detect immediately. It can go undiagnosed for quite some time before patients get a definitive diagnosis from their healthcare provider, typically after undergoing a sleep study. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause patients to stop breathing hundreds of times in a night, keeping them from achieving the restorative levels of sleep they desire. There are many things patients need to know about obstructive sleep apnea:

  • It can cause snoring. Snoring can happen to anyone, but it can be an indication that OSA is present. However, snoring alone does not mean an individual has obstructive sleep apnea, so determining the cause is important.
  • It causes patients to stop breathing. Hundreds of times a night, a patient with obstructive sleep apnea will stop breathing. They awaken only to fall back asleep and continue to cycle throughout the night.
  • It affects your sleeping pattern. During a sleep apnea episode, patients stop breathing and cannot reach the deep, restorative levels of sleep needed to function properly the next day. Over time, this leads to extensive sleep deprivation, even if you think you are getting enough sleep each night.
  • It can be treated in different ways. Most patients who are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea by their primary dentist will be advised to use a bulky CPAP machine, though our dental team may instead recommend a more comfortable and portable option such as an oral appliance.

Find a solution for better sleep and overall health

If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, it can be affecting your daily life more than you might realize. After receiving a proper diagnosis, patients can work with their primary care physician or our dental team to learn about treatment options. Peters Dental Associates is conveniently located in Houston, TX and can be reached by phone to request an appointment at (281) 486-8061.

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