Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. It occurs when the airway becomes blocked, often while a person is asleep, reducing or cutting off airflow. People suffering from this condition are incapable of getting enough sleep and usually suffer many side effects.
Dr. William Harper offers sleep apnea treatment to his patients from Chesapeake, VA. With his advanced training and certification, he can provide lasting relief from sleep apnea and its associated symptoms.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. OSA causes a person to frequently stop breathing while they are asleep. This can cause grave health complications because it cuts off oxygen to vital organs. Obstructive sleep apnea often happens due to an obstruction of the airway while sleeping. The collapse of soft tissues at the back of the throat causes this to happen.
The most common symptom is snoring, although not everyone that snores has OSA. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 50% of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms
There are many symptoms of sleep apnea that you should not ignore, such as:
- Loud snoring
- When a sleeping partner reports episodes where you stop breathing
- Gasping for air while asleep
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Frequent headaches upon waking up
- Issues staying asleep may feel like insomnia
- Being restless during the day
- Issues with paying attention during the day
- Being irritable while awake
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
No one should assume they suffer from sleep apnea. Diagnosing the condition is an integral part of getting the correct treatment. Spotting sleep apnea will require your participation in sleep testing. Dr. Harper will work with your general practitioner to set this up. This will help you get the accurate diagnosis that you need in order to begin treatment.
There are two ways we can conduct sleep testing. The at-home test will involve wearing a kit while you sleep at home. We will give you specific instructions on how to set it up. It will determine if you have a sleep disorder by measuring heart rate, breathing rate, blood oxygen level, and more.
Otherwise, you will need to visit a sleep laboratory for an in-lab sleep testing session by medical professionals. They will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of a range of physical metrics. In addition to the sleep study, your physician may take x-rays of your airway and do a physical examination to look for signs of a blockage.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Hampton Roads
An oral sleep device is similar to a night guard or dental splint. We will carefully fabricate the device to the specifications of your mouth. The device will readjust your bite to keep your tongue from rolling to the back of your mouth during sleep. Then, it will keep your airway open to allow you to breathe normally during sleep.
Coastal Sleep & TMJ offers many types of oral sleep devices to patients from Chesapeake, VA, and is always evaluating new designs.
If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact Coastal Sleep & TMJ to get set up with a sleep study. Dr. Harper will help with every step of the diagnosis process and get you the right oral device for your needs.