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Sleep Apnea

Tysons West Orthodontics & Children's Dentistry

Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry located in Vienna, VA

About 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Because sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems if untreated, it’s important to get help right away. Ibrahim Y. Alhussain, DMD, and Reem I. Alhussain, DDS, at Tysons West Orthodontics & Children's Dentistry in Vienna and Tysons, Virginia, can design a custom oral appliance to keep your sleep apnea under control. To get help with your sleep apnea, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

Sleep Apnea

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing for brief periods while you're asleep. It's common for sleep apnea sufferers to stop breathing for 20-30 times an hour.

When you stop breathing, you briefly startle yourself awake before falling asleep again. Often, sleep apnea sufferers aren't even aware of the constant sleep interruptions because they're so brief.

There are three types of sleep apnea. They are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea: This occurs when the back of your throat briefly collapses during sleep.
  • Central sleep apnea: This occurs when the area of your brain that controls and monitors your breathing malfunctions and you stop breathing for brief periods.
  • Mixed sleep apnea: This is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

The majority of sleep apnea cases are obstructive sleep apnea.

What are the signs of sleep apnea?

There are several signs associated with sleep apnea, including:

  • Drowsiness during the day
  • A sore throat when you wake up
  • A headache when you wake up
  • Loud snoring when you sleep
  • Falling asleep unexpectedly during the day

If you're having one or more of the symptoms above, talk to your medical doctor. If you're diagnosed with sleep apnea, your dentist may be able to help.

Am I at risk for developing sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in men than women. It usually affects patients age 40 and older. Furthermore, drinking, smoking, and carrying extra weight may also raise your risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. And, if you have a family history of obstructive sleep apnea, you're also more likely to develop it.

Men and women who have heart, neuromuscular, or neurological disorders may have a higher risk of developing central sleep apnea.

What is the treatment for sleep apnea?

Your treatment will depend on your symptoms and the type of sleep apnea you have. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your dentist can create a custom SomnoDent® oral device that will position your jaw to prevent your throat from being blocked while you sleep.

For central sleep apnea, your medical doctor may recommend you use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. CPAP machines give steady air pressure so your airways don’t collapse.

Often, lifestyle changes can help with sleep apnea symptoms, too. For example, sleeping on your side instead of your back may help. Your medical doctor may also advise you to stop smoking, lose weight, or make other healthy lifestyle choices.

Don’t let sleep apnea trouble you any longer. Book an appointment with Tysons West Orthodontics & Children's Dentistry online or over the phone today.