Protect Your Health with Sleep Apnea Treatment
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that can lead to chronic fatigue, irritability, and depression, among other things. Caused by the collapse of soft tissues over the airway, sleep apnea causes cessation of breathing for prolonged periods of time. At our Bloomington, IL dental practice, Drs. Jay W. Chrisman and David D. Wyse provide non-surgical, minimally invasive sleep apnea treatment with oral appliance therapy, a highly effective alternative to CPAP machines.
How Sleep Apnea Affects Health
Sleep apnea has several serious, far-reaching implications. For example, the condition can cause:
- Fatigue and sleepiness: A normal sleep cycle works to replenish and refresh the body. Those who suffer from sleep apnea are constantly tired and have a far greater risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. Lack of sleep can also have a negative effect on cognitive ability and productivity.
- Heart problems: Cessation of breathing can cause the blood oxygen levels to drop. In turn, this places excessive strain on the cardiovascular system. This is why many individuals diagnosed with sleep apnea develop hypertension. The more severe the sleep apnea, the higher the risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and coronary artery disease.
- Medical complications: Patients with sleep apnea may experience more issues while under sedation and general anesthesia. For example, these medications cause the muscles around the airway to relax, which could worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Screening and Diagnosis
If your doctor suspects sleep apnea, they may refer you to a sleep specialist. To obtain an official diagnosis, you may be asked to undergo a sleep study, either in a specialized clinic or in your home.
This assessment will measure a number of things, including breathing patterns, blood oxygen levels, movements, and brain activity. The study can confirm your diagnosis and help your medical team determine a treatment option that will work for you.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Many patients find adequate relief from their symptoms with the use of a custom oral appliance, a device that places the jaw in a more forward position. The device opens the airway and reduces the resistance that leads to breathing issues.
Dr. Chrisman or Wyse can recommend treatment for you based on the severity of your sleep disorder.
In fact, several research studies have demonstrated the efficacy of oral appliance therapy for the reduction of snoring and sleep apnea, as well as the advantageous effects on symptoms such as chronic fatigue.
Oral appliances can be used on their own or in conjunction with CPAP devices. Dr. Chrisman or Wyse can recommend treatment for you based on the severity of your sleep disorder.
Benefits of a Custom Appliance
There are a number of advantages to oral appliance therapy compared to alternative treatments. For example, custom oral appliances:
- Are more comfortable than CPAP devices
- Are small and portable
- Offer immediate improvement in sleep apnea symptoms
- Conserve energy, as no electricity is required for use
- Are discreet, and cannot be seen by your partner or spouse
Get a Better Night's Sleep
Sleep apnea and related disorders can seriously hinder your overall quality of life. If you are experiencing unexplained fatigue, insomnia, irritability, or other symptoms of sleep apnea, consider what oral appliance therapy can do for you. To learn more about this comfortable and effective treatment option, or to schedule a consultation at Chrisman & Wyse, contact us online or give us a call at (309) 663-6393.