Diagnosis and Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults
Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, but it is most common in adults over the age of 40. If you are having a hard time breathing at night, it may be time to visit a dentist. This professional can diagnose your condition and give you the treatment you need. You should not have to suffer the consequences of this serious disorder any longer.
Understanding the different types
Sleep apnea falls into two categories. The first is called central sleep apnea. This occurs when the brain does not send messages to the muscles to breathe because of problems in the respiratory control center.
The more common type is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. In this condition, the muscles relax and soft tissue blocks the airway. For some patients, enlarged tonsils are the culprit, while for other people, the tongue falls into the back of the throat. These problems cause the person to stop and start breathing during sleep time. This can happen multiple times in a single hour. Some people may stop breathing for a minute at a time or longer.
The issues that can result
At the least, a person with sleep apnea will not sleep well at night. A person with this condition may feel tired all day long and may not be able to concentrate well. More serious effects of this disorder include cardiovascular problems. OSA can cause high blood pressure, which may contribute to having a heart attack or a stroke.
Visiting the dentist
A dentist has the knowledge and training to diagnose a patient with sleep apnea. The dentist will examine the person’s mouth to determine whether the tonsils are too big and are blocking the airway. The dentist can also evaluate the size of the soft tissue in the back of the throat, along with other oral causes of the condition.
The dentist may order a sleep test for the patient. This can occur at the person’s home or at a lab. At this test, the patient will have a private place to sleep and will be hooked up to monitoring equipment. The machinery will measure the patient’s brainwave activity, heart rate and rhythm, and muscle activity. The test will also record airflow and whether the patient snores.
Treating sleep apnea
Once the dentist sees the tests and examines the patient, there will be a treatment plan. The dentist may recommend a CPAP machine, which delivers continuous air to the person. Or, the dentist may suggest getting a custom-fit mouthguard. This appliance pushes the jaw outward, opening the airway. In more severe cases, the patient may need a tonsillectomy or jaw-correction surgery.
Manage your symptoms the right way
Living with sleep apnea can take a toll on your health. You should not have to suffer the effects of it any longer. Make an appointment today with your dentist so you can talk about treating this condition. Your dentist can accurately diagnose you with OSA and determine how to most effectively battle the disorder.
Request an appointment here: https://astoriadentalspa.com or call Astoria Dental Broadway at (718) 786-8667 for an appointment in our Astoria office.
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