Over 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Two important things to remember: you’re not alone and there are effective long term solutions. Learning how sleep apnea works and understanding your treatment options can change your life for the better.
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include heavy snoring and feeling tired and irritable during the day. If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, Dr. Gershberg will make sure you get the right diagnosis and treatment so you can sleep comfortably every night.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
There are two major types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder that causes the patient to completely stop breathing several times each night by blocking the patient’s airway while they sleep. This is often the result of your muscles relaxing and allowing the tongue to fall back into the throat.
The other common type of sleep apnea is called central sleep apnea (CSA). CSA occurs due to a miscommunication between the brain and muscles that control your breathing while you sleep.
The most obvious symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. Both forms of sleep apnea can cause serious health issues, such as strokes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and in some cases even death. Anyone can suffer from sleep apnea, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
Although children can be diagnosed with sleep apnea, it’s most common in older patients. There are a number of factors that can increase your chances of suffering from sleep apnea:
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- Gender (it’s more common in males)
- Nasal congestion
- Family history
Treating Sleep Apnea Without CPAP
Dr. Gershberg will find the sleep apnea treatment that works best for you. For example, a CPAP machine is the most commonly prescribed treatment option. CPAP forces you to wear a mask over your face that delivers a steady stream of warm air into your airway. Although it’s very effective, many patients complain that CPAP is loud and difficult to use.
As an alternative to CPAP, many of our patients in patients in Bryn Mawr, PA find relief using one of our oral appliances. This small device is quiet, comfortable, and easy to use.
Additional treatments for sleep apnea include lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or reducing alcohol consumption. In some cases, surgery is required to remove excess tissue that’s causing an obstruction. But Dr. Gershberg will only recommend surgery after considering all your other options.
Your Sleep Specialist in Bryn Mawr, PA.
You deserve a restful night’s sleep and all its benefits: plentiful energy, feeling refreshed, uplifted mood, and most importantly, long term physical health. Dr. Gershberg is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and has been serving Bryn Mawr as a Top Dentist for over 13 years. He’ll make sure you get the help you need to enjoy restful sleep every night.
To learn more, give us a call at (610) 527-6704. We’ll be happy to speak with you about our sleep apnea care. Relief is closer than you think.