Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that affects thousands of Americans. Patients in the Worcester area who are interested in learning about this condition often ask their dentist, Dr. Stanley Levenson, to describe the symptoms of sleep apnea so they can better understand the condition and know if it is affecting their quality of life.
Obstructive sleep apnea symptoms may include the following:
Inability to reach restorative levels of sleep due to abnormal breathing patterns
Patients often stop breathing for several seconds before they gasp for air or awaken
The inability to fall asleep (insomnia)
Daytime fatigue that can affect concentration, memory, and overall mood
Increased depression and anxiety
Most patients with obstructive sleep apnea aren’t even aware of it until they hear about how they sleep from their sleeping partners. Others may be depressed and tired and are unsure why, and visit their doctor who suggests a sleep study to check for sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common and can be caused due to the tongue falling back in the throat, excess fat around the neck blocking the airways, or even a poorly aligned jaw, which can affect the open airways.
How can patients address conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea? In many cases, it can be easily resolved by using oral appliance therapy. While many physicians may recommend the use of a CPAP machine, they are clunky, hard to travel with, and uncomfortable for patients to use. This results in lowered compliance. However, oral appliances are like mouth guards, which are worn at night and are less obtrusive. Patients find them to be easier to use and comply with and therefore can improve their overall quality of life while addressing their condition.
Patients in and around the Worcester community who are interested in finding out more about treatment options for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are welcome to contact Dr. Stanley Levenson of Levenson Smile. We can assist patients in finding affordable ways of treating their condition that can provide effective results.