If you haven’t heard of sleep apnea, you will soon: it is increasingly recognized as a major threat to the health of Americans that is rarely diagnosed. Perhaps surprisingly, Dr. Marine is a specialist who can diagnose and treat some forms of sleep apnea.

You may not even know that you snore, if you don’t have a partner (or have one who sleeps soundly, no matter what). Constant snoring may not be due to sleep apnea, but it is one of the most common symptoms.

Snoring

Another, according to WebMD

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/sleep-apnea, is being constantly tired when you are supposed to be wide awake. This could mean that you can barely pay attention as you are driving to work, often fall asleep at your desk, can’t concentrate on what you are supposed to be doing, and find yourself forgetting things that you know you normally would remember.

Some other clues when you first awoke: a sore throat, felt like there was “cotton” in your mouth, and had a migraine headache (or suffered from frequent headaches the rest of the day). Not all of these occur for everyone with sleep apnea, but some are likely and other signs may include anxiety, depression, and irritability. You may also be overweight, drink alcohol, or take sedatives, and have frequent acid reflux. Sound familiar?

You may by now be wondering what an “apnea” is. It is a short pause in breathing when you are asleep, which prompts your brain to try to wake you up so you remember to breathe again. You don’t recall this because you don’t become conscious, but the disruption of your sleep up to hundreds of times during the night is why you feel sleepy and unfocused all of the next day. 

Sleep apnea raises the risk for other serious problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

So how can our Burbank and Glendale dentist, Dr. Marine help you determine whether you have sleep apnea and develop an appropriate treatment plan? There are two types of this challenging condition: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA is a brain disorder for which she can refer you to a physician for medication).

If your tongue or other tissues are blocking the throat when you lie on your back, causing snoring, you may have OSA, for which she can create a special oral appliance, like a snore guard, to prevent this, enabling you to breathe through the night. This is a lot more comfortable than the standard medical treatment, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), a device which requires the patient to lie on her or his back and wear a mask connected to an oxygen tube all night. 

If you have some of the symptoms of sleep apnea, please call Pacific Dental Care today to schedule an appointment for an exam.