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If you snore, it’s vital to be assessed for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), as this is a common but serious condition that can adversely affect your quality of life.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where the muscles that support the soft tissues in the throat relax during sleep, temporarily stopping breathing from occurring.
Knowing the Signs of OSA
Snoring is the most common indication that a problem exists. Unfortunately, most people do not realize that they snore, and this condition is usually first mentioned by one’s partner.
If your significant other is telling you that you snore, you should discuss it with your doctor because the complications of OSA are more serious than you may think.
If you sleep alone, some phone apps can record or monitor your sleep patterns, and it’s recommended to use one of these periodically to check yourself for snoring.
OSA causes sleep deprivation and can lead to the following conditions:
- Heart attack and stroke
- Irregular heartbeat
- Memory loss
- Weight gain
Getting an OSA Diagnosis
Your doctor can refer you to a sleep specialist if he thinks you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
The diagnostic process generally entails a sleep study that may be performed in a lab or at home with the aid of an overnight breathing monitor.
Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea
When it comes to treating OSA, there are several devices that can help. The most common include the CPAP machine (for severe issues) or a mandibular advancement device (MAD).
The CPAP Machine
A CPAP machine treats obstructive sleep apnea by providing a continuous stream of oxygenated air. This air enters through your upper airway and is delivered to the lungs through a tube and mask.
This pressurized air keeps your airways from constricting and allows you to breathe clearly throughout the night.
There is a wide range of CPAP machines to choose from, and your specialist can recommend the appropriate one for you.
A MAD Device
The MAD device (mandibular advancement device) is similar to a mouthguard and is worn over your teeth to keep your mouth in the ideal resting position and prevent breathing pauses.
This custom device works by repositioning your jaw and tongue forward, maintaining an open airway, and preventing constrictions.
Studies, including those published in JAMA, show no significant difference in effectiveness between these therapeutic approaches. Most OSA patients consider the MAD device far less intrusive than the CPAP, which many feel is cumbersome.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in San Diego, CA
La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics offers complete dental care in San Diego, California, including the MAD device for sleep apnea.
Dr. Kohani and his team are committed to improving the quality of life of their patients, whether it’s by helping them get a better night’s sleep or improving their smiles.