Millions of Americans suffer from the dangerous disruptive sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), including some in the Mandeville area. Unfortunately, many people with OSA go undiagnosed, which places them unknowingly at risk for a heart attack or stroke. If you feel that you or your sleep partner have OSA, it’s wise to promptly get tested by a sleep specialist. At Allure Dental, Dr. Daniela Eversgerd is highly trained in the use of various oral appliances for OSA patients who are having trouble tolerating a CPAP machine.
Best Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment in Mandeville
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and what are its causes?
OSA is a common type of sleep apnea that occurs when muscles relax in the back of the throat that support your soft palate, uvula, tonsils, and the side walls of your throat and tongue. As those muscles relax, your airway narrows or completely closes while you’re breathing. This restricts airflow, which causes lower blood oxygen levels. If this happens, your brain senses that there’s too little oxygen, and wakes you up so that you can breathe properly.
This cycle takes place so fast that the average OSA sufferer doesn’t even realize it’s happening. It continues to play out repeatedly for up to 30 times per hour, all night long, interfering with your body’s ability to reach those deep, restful periods of sleep it so desperately needs. As a result, instead of feeling refreshed in the morning, OSA sufferers feel tired and fatigued.
OSA Symptoms and Diagnosis by a Specialist
Most patients with OSA aren’t even aware that they have it, but then feel tired throughout the day because they’re not getting the sleep their body desperately needs. In addition, other common symptoms of OSA include:
- Loud snoring
- Morning headaches
- Gasping for air while asleep
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Episodes during which you stop breathing entirely, as noted by your sleep partner
Left untreated, OSA can cause or aggravate several medical conditions including type 2 diabetes, liver function abnormalities, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other disorders. Get a diagnosis early.
Am I at Risk for OSA?
According to the National Institutes of Health, 1 in 5 adult Americans have sleep apnea, and roughly 90% of those cases go undiagnosed. Northshore, LA, residents who fall into one or more of these categories have the highest risk of developing OSA:
- Over the age of 40
- Drink alcohol regularly
If you currently have one or more of these risk factors, and repeatedly doze off during the day, you may have some form of sleep apnea like OSA.
How do I test and diagnose OSA?
OSA is typically diagnosed by a sleep physician specialist during a polysomnogram (PSG), or “sleep study”. During a sleep study, the doctor monitors brain and body sleep activity while the patient is asleep at a sleep lab clinic. Sometimes a patient will have their sleep study done at home. The sleep specialist then evaluates the collected PSG data to test for signs of any sleep disorders, including OSA, and then recommends safe treatment options once a diagnosis is made.
If OSA is the diagnosis, one of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine-approved primary therapies that the sleep doctor may recommend is an oral appliance under the direction of a trained sleep disorder dentist like Dr. Eversgerd at Allure Dental. Other treatments include sleep therapy.
How is OSA Treated? CPAP Machine and Sleep Therapy Alternatives to Surgery
Treatment options for the patient include surgery, CPAP or BiPAP machine use, or another form of oral appliance therapy. For mild-to-moderate OSA, an oral appliance offers the least invasive and cost-effective approach. In fact, a properly calibrated oral appliance can comfortably hold your jaw in its natural position throughout the night, which will allow critical oxygen to flow where it needs to be until you awake.
Any treatment decisions that an OSA patient makes need to be done while consulting with their sleep doctor and primary care physician. Once you’ve made the decision to use an oral appliance, Dr. Eversgerd can work with your primary care physician to ensure optimal treatment results. Whenever an oral appliance is used it’s very important that it’s positioned correctly so that it precisely maintains your airway and provides good oxygen flow.
Oral Appliance Fittings for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
OSA not only interferes with normal sleep patterns, it can also be quite dangerous. If you have been diagnosed with OSA in the Mandeville, LA, area but can’t tolerate a CPAP machine, Dr. Eversgerd is trained to help fit patients with the oral appliance (CPAP alternative) that’s right for them. To schedule a sleep apnea consultation appointment today, please call Allure Dental at: (985) 951-2220.
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I love this dentist and her staff. They are very kind, caring and helpful. Always a pleasant experience!Gwen B. 3/26/2019