For the longest time, people have regarded snoring at night as a laughing matter. No one thinks that it should be a matter of concern, especially when the snoring happens on adults. While many reasons could result in snoring, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder associated with snoring at night.
Sleep apnea treatment in Calgary is offered for a reason. It treats a sleep disorder that causes shortness of breath at night while one is sleeping. Usually, the airway is obstructed, limiting the flow of oxygen in the body. It features a type of sleep-disordered breathing, which is a common medical condition.
The potential risks of sleep apnea manifest because of the gaps formed in the breathing pattern. One can stop breathing for a couple of seconds to minutes, due to shortness of breath.
The severity of this sleep disorder differs from one patient to another. It can be a mild case where only a few seconds are lost or a severe one where one can stop breathing for several minutes. This severe stage introduces other health problems, including heart conditions, the brain is cut off from oxygen supply, blood pressure issues, strokes, to mention a few.
The evaluation of this sleep disorder is not the typical kind. It happens overnight, where a patient is monitored when they sleep. The irregularities in the breathing patterns are recorded, relative to the amount of snoring that happens. While at it, your blood oxygen levels are monitored while you sleep. Any movements of other body parts are also analyzed, relative to the sleep disorder. This is because severe cases of sleep apnea can cause a lack of sleep, anxiety and even phobias.
Depending on how severe your sleep apnea is, the treatment options vary a great deal. For one, this disorder might be diagnosed by your regular dentist. However, depending on the results of the evaluation and diagnosis, you may be referred to different medical specialists. Some patients are referred to ear, nose and throat doctors, others, heart specialists, while others a prosthodontist in Calgary.
The very initial levels of treatment for sleep apnea regard lifestyle changes. Some of the changes you are advised to adopt in your day to day life include:
Besides the lifestyle changes, a different level of treatment is offered for patients. This is mostly for the severe cases of the disorder, and where the lifestyle changes have no impact on the breathing patterns at night. These other treatments will be monitored for any effects, given the level of severity of your disorder.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) – is a therapy offered for moderate cases of sleep apnea. A prosthodontist in T3A 2L6 can recommend this therapy where the breathing at night is aided by a mask. This machine delivers air pressure that is higher than the air pressure of your sleeping environment during sleep. The name of the machine is CPAP (See-pap). For other patients, they might require an automatic machine (auto-CPAP) to adjust the air pressure during sleep. The levels of air pressure will increase and decrease automatically according to your breathing needs at a particular time. The CPAP machines are very effective for improving breathing patterns and preventing shortness of breath. However, they can be a little uncomfortable to wear and requires some getting used to for the perfect fit.
Oral appliances – a prosthodontist near you, specializes in different types of dental appliances, making them fit for treating your sleep disorder. Oral applications can be used to open up the airway through the mouth and allow for better breathing at night. Usually, they work by adjusting how your mouth sits when you sleep. It is common for people to close their mouths when sleeping. However, since the idea is to increase breathability your mouth has to be opened. The oral appliances will keep your mouth open, all the way to your throat. This is possible by bringing the jaw forward. The appliances work best for mild cases of sleep apnea and work great for relieving snoring. They are also easier to use and more comfortable than CPAP machines.