Is Sleep Apnea Your Nightmare? We Can Help!
Is sleep apnea keeping you up at night? Our Farmington Hills dentist, Dr. Roman Shlafer is here to help by offering advanced sleep apnea treatments. At Roman Shlafer, DDS, PLLC, we offer a variety of sleep apnea treatments to improve your sleep quality as well as your overall health during the day. Our sleep dentist ensures that your journey to a full night’s rest is as seamless as possible.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where a person's breathing is repeatedly interrupted throughout the night. This can happen either because the airway is blocked or the brain doesn't send the proper signals to your throat muscles. These interruptions, called apneas, can last a few seconds to minutes and happen many times during the night. As a result, you may wake up briefly to gasp for air, which can disrupt sleep and cause daytime fatigue. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and even death, which is why it’s important to receive quality care.
Loud and frequent snoring is one of the most common indications of sleep apnea. However, not everyone who snores suffers from a sleep disorder. Sleep apnea can have a variety of debilitating symptoms, including:
- Frequent gasping or choking while you sleep
- Waking up with a sore or dry throat
- Fatigue and drowsiness during the day
- Mood changes, like depression or irritability
- Headaches in the morning
- Short-term memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of attention span
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Frequent urination at night
- Decreased libido
- Nighttime sweating
- Weight gain
Call our Farmington office right away if you're experiencing any of these symptoms𑁋you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Taking a sleep study is the only way to get a proper diagnosis and receive the quality care you need.
Any person can be affected by sleep apnea regardless of age or gender. However, certain risk factors make you more susceptible to sleep apnea. It’s especially crucial to be aware of any potential symptoms if you fall into one or more of the following categories:
- Biological male
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Over 40 years old
- Nasal congestion
- Overweight or obese
- Large neck circumference
- A narrowed airway
- Family history of sleep apnea
If any of these common factors apply to you, we recommend undergoing a sleep study as a precaution. This will evaluate your quality of sleep and measure specific factors, like snoring, breathing levels, and body movements. It’s typically conducted at an overnight sleep facility by a qualified physician.
Effective Sleep Apnea Treatments
Once Dr. Shlafer has diagnosed you with sleep apnea, he’ll then establish a clear and effective treatment plan that best fits your needs. Our Farmington Hills office offers advanced sleep apnea treatments.
The first, most commonly prescribed solution is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which works by pumping pressurized air through a mask that’s worn over your nose while you sleep. This machine forces your airway to remain open and allows you to breathe normally. This makes it incredibly effective with any form of sleep apnea—even in severe cases.
Though it can be effective when used properly, many patients complain that their CPAP machine is too loud, restrictive, awkward-to-use, and uncomfortable. As a result, they end up not using it consistently and negating its positive effects.
Oral Appliance Therapy
For a more comfortable and less invasive solution, Dr. Shlafer is happy to offer oral appliance therapy. These small, non-invasive devices gently shift your jaw forward, keeping your airway open and preventing your tongue from collapsing and blocking airflow. All of our oral appliances are custom-made to fit your mouth comfortably and improve your sleep.
Oral appliances are comfortable to wear, easy to travel with, and totally silent. They also allow you to sleep in any position you want, unlike CPAP, which forces you to sleep on your back. In combination with moderate lifestyle changes such as losing weight or drinking less alcohol, an oral appliance can eliminate your symptoms and protect your health.
Natural Sleep Apnea Solutions
Dr. Shlafer may incorporate lifestyle changes into your sleep apnea treatment plan to significantly reduce your symptoms. Some effective natural remedies include:
- Getting regular exercise and following a nutritional, well-balanced diet are effective ways to lose weight and reduce excess tissue blocking the airway.
- Using positional therapy, or adjusting your sleeping position, can be used to improve your breathing patterns and alleviate snoring.
- Practicing mouth and throat exercises can ease the effects of sleep apnea by strengthening the muscles along your airway.
- Limiting alcohol consumption and reducing or avoiding smoking can help reduce the severity of your condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Losing weight can help with sleep apnea as this can relieve excess pressure on your airway and reduce your neck circumference. Losing even a small amount of weight can help reduce the severity of your sleep apnea symptoms. However, it’s important to also seek professional treatment while losing weight to achieve the best results.
Unfortunately, sleep apnea can’t be cured unless you undergo UPP surgery. However, your symptoms can be effectively treated and managed with professional treatment without the need of any invasive actions. That way, you can sleep at night knowing that you won’t need to go under the knife. Talk to your sleep dentist to see which treatment is right for you.
Depending on your coverage, your insurance company may help cover all or a portion of the expenses for an oral appliance. For a better understanding of your coverage, we suggest contacting your provider prior to your appointment. You can also ask your sleep dentist to see if they offer any financing options to help with making your out-of-pocket expenses more manageable.
There are natural remedies to help treat sleep apnea, but they’re more effective in combination with professional treatment. Natural remedies you may want to consider when treating sleep apnea include:
- Positional therapy
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
- Use a humidifier
Comfortable Solutions for Sleep Apnea
If you or your loved one is experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea such as loud snoring, or daytime fatigue, don't wait! Call our Farmington Hills office as soon as possible to get your symptoms under control. Contact our sleep dentist at (248) 781-0040 to schedule a sleep study and discuss treatment options. We’re happy to serve Michigan patients in Canton, Plymouth, Southfield, Franklin, Beverly Hills, and surrounding areas.