Obstructive Sleep Apnea Q & A
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious condition that causes you to stop and start breathing hundreds of times each night. It happens when soft tissues in your airways collapse and block your air flow. Each pause in your breathing can last from a few seconds up to a full minute.
Because of the stress that obstructive sleep apnea puts on your heart and organs, it can lead to serious health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
In severe cases, untreated sleep apnea can even lead to death.
What are the signs of obstructive sleep apnea?
There are several telltale signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. They are:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping or choking in the night
- Extreme daytime drowsiness
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat in the morning
If you feel irritable or are uncharacteristically moody, you may also be experiencing signs of obstructive sleep apnea.
How do you diagnose obstructive sleep apnea?
To determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea, a doctor or sleep specialist assesses your sleep. The best way to evaluate your sleep patterns is with a sleep test either in a dedicated sleep center or with special equipment at your home.
Your doctor uses the data from the sleep test to determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea or if your snoring and breathing patterns are benign.
How do you treat obstructive sleep apnea?
Dr. Yoon always recommends lifestyle changes to help with your interrupted sleep and snoring. He may suggest diet and exercise for weight loss, a routine bedtime, and the discontinuation of unnecessary medications that may be contributing to your problem.
If your obstructive sleep apnea persists, Dr. Yoon may fit you for an oral dental device that’s designed to keep your airways open and clear all night long. The device looks and fits like a sports mouthguard, but you only need to wear it while you sleep.
Your dental device is custom-made at Springfield Dental Solutions. Dr. Yoon checks the device regularly at your routine dental appointments.
For better sleep and higher quality of life, call Springfield Dental Solutions to schedule an appointment or use the online scheduler to book now.