Do you or your partner have issues staying asleep because of snoring? Do you wake up still feeling groggy and tired?
If you are a chronic snorer or often find yourself waking up to breathe, you may have sleep apnea. Millions of Americans snore. However, if snoring is coupled with other symptoms including chronic morning headaches, it may be a sign of the most common type of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when breathing passages are obstructed by tissue. When airways are blocked, it is difficult to breathe, and vital organs are not getting the oxygen they need. Problems can arise when the airways are obstructed by the tissues when they collapse. Because of this, OSA may lead to serious problems if left untreated. In severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea, patients may have heart attacks, strokes or can die if their breathing is obstructed during sleep.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be diagnosed and treated in our Philadelphia, PA office. Dr. Drew Shulman and his professional staff are passionate about providing solutions for all kinds of oral health difficulties. They work with patients to address and treat their oral health issues in a timely manner.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
If you have pauses in breathing or find yourself waking up to breathe, you may have OSA. Signs and symptoms vary from patient to patient. Some patients report not noticing any symptoms because they occur at night while asleep, while others only experience one or two symptoms. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea can include:
- Chronic migraines and frequent headaches in the morning
- Chronic fatigue, or feeling tired during the day, even after “sleeping” for 6-8 hours
- Feeling “foggy” or unable to concentrate during the day
- Trouble focusing
- Frequent irritability
- Suddenly waking during the night
- Feeling restless at night
- Dry mouth upon waking up
- Always snoring while asleep
Treating Sleep Apnea in Northeast Philadelphia
Dr. Drew Shulman screens for sleep apnea, and provides an at-home sleep study to patients with symptoms. He also provides patients with oral appliances to stop sleep apnea at the source. Made of soft plastic or hard acrylic, oral appliances like splints and night guards are customized to each patient for comfort and ease of use.
Benefits of Oral Appliances
Wearing an oral appliance at night offers multiple benefits to stop sleep apnea and its symptoms. Because they are easy to use, oral appliances are a convenient option for our patients. Oral appliances can:
- Reposition the lower jaw and tongue so that you breathe properly in any position
- Stabilize the jaw to prevent soreness and airway obstruction
- Open up airways
- Increase the tongue’s muscle tone for proper alignment
Treating your sleep apnea can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Rest will also improve your concentration and alertness during the day.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
One of the main signs that someone may have sleep apnea is if they consistently snore at night. Not all people who snore have sleep apnea but it is very common that patients with sleep apnea snore. Patients with sleep apnea also have very disrupted sleep, are prone to get headaches, and are very likely to be tired throughout the day.
How long does a sleep study for sleep apnea take?
From start to finish patients should expect their sleep study to take between 9-10 hours. In order for the reading of the sleep study to be accurate technicians want to collect data for at least 6 hours. Patients must also account for time to sign and check in, as well as get connected to the monitors and be sure that the equipment is properly attached and the data is being recorded and saved.
What negative effects can sleep apnea cause?
Sleep apnea decreases your quality of sleep, which has an overall negative effect on patients day to day life. If left untreated it can also increase patients’ risk of high blood pressure, strokes, heart failure, and heart attacks. Short term effects are headaches, irritability, and trouble concentrating.
Does sleeping on your back make sleep apnea worse?
Yes, sleeping on your back can make your sleep apnea worse. This is because of the way that weight is distributed while you are laying on your back. Your weight is much more likely to put pressure on your airways while laying on your back. Patients with sleep apnea are encouraged to sleep on their side because their airways are much less likely to have excessive weight put on them laying this way.
Schedule a Sleep Apnea Consultation
Get the restful night of sleep that you deserve. Stop sleep apnea from causing breathing and sleep problems once and for all with proper diagnosis and oral appliance therapy. Call Dr. Shulman at (215) 372-1142 for a professional consultation.