Sleep Apnea Treatment – Wakefield, MA
For a Comfortable and
Sleep is something that everyone needs, but we often take it for granted. Restless nights can leave you unproductive and unfocused the next day, which can affect you both personally and professionally. If you’re struggling with chronic snoring and lack of sleep, you may have sleep apnea. This sleeping disorder affects over 10 million people, and it’s estimated that 80% of its cases are undiagnosed. So, how do you know if you have it and what can you do to help? Thankfully, Dr. Rob Schumacher is an expert at identifying this sleeping disorder, and he is experienced in providing sleep apnea treatment in Wakefield.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the patient stops breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. While there are different types of sleep apnea, one of the most common is obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). In many cases, the contributing factor in OSAS is blockage in the airway from the tongue or lower jaw.
Why is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?
The cycle of sleeping and waking caused by sleep apnea leads to a range of serious issues from daytime drowsiness and moodiness, to difficulty concentrating and memory loss. Sleep apnea patients face an increased risk of high blood pressure and accidents at work, at home, or behind the wheel.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Because the majority of OSAS cases are undiagnosed, it’s important for you or your partner to recognize the most common signs and symptoms of this sleeping disorder:
- Loud snoring
- Inconsistent breathing during sleep
- Awakening with a dry mouth
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Headaches in the morning
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Daytime drowsiness
- Moodiness and lack of sex drive
If you, your partner, or a family member notices any of these symptoms, you should contact Dr. Schumacher right away. He will be able to properly diagnose your sleep apnea and provide the treatment that you need for a better night’s sleep.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
There are 2 main types of treatment for sleep apnea:
In the past, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine was the solution for OSAS. CPAP machines use nasal masks and steady streams of air to keep airways open during sleep. Many patients experienced side effects with CPAP that aren’t ideal for sleeping.
That’s why the most popular form of treatment is oral appliance therapy. Your appliance is custom-made to reposition your tongue or lower jaw. As a result, air reaches the lungs without being cut off. Oral appliance therapy also helps patients who struggle with snoring. In fact, snoring and sleep apnea often go hand-in-hand. A patient who struggles with severe snoring may have an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea and should consider seeking treatment. Oral appliances position your jaw and tongue in a way that promotes sleep and helps prevent snoring.
Call our office in Wakefield to learn more about sleep apnea and your treatment options. We are ready to answer any questions you may have and look forward to helping you get the sleep that you need.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
Are you sick of waking up in the morning even more exhausted than you were the night before? Then we invite you to contact us to learn more about whether you could benefit from sleep apnea therapy. While you wait for your appointment, we encourage you to read through this list of frequently asked questions and their answers.
How Much Does Sleep Apnea Therapy Cost?
The cost of your oral appliance will depend on factors such as the severity of your apnea, the type of appliance you need, and your level of insurance coverage. At Schumacher Dental, we can easily handle all of the insurance paperwork on your behalf so that you can just sit back and enjoy the savings!
Keep in mind that even if the cost seems a bit high, it’s an investment worth making. Not only will you be achieving the restful sleep you need and deserve, but you’ll also greatly reduce your risk of traffic accidents due to drowsy driving as well as related medical conditions.
What Happens If I Don’t Treat My Sleep Apnea?
In addition to being exhausted all the time, the frequent cycle of sleeping and waking up throughout the night can increase your risk for several health problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Acid reflux
- Adult asthma
To stay as healthy as possible, we can’t stress enough that you should seek treatment right away if you suspect that you have sleep apnea.
How Long Will My Oral Appliance Last?
As long as you don’t grind your teeth or clench your jaw while sleeping, then you can trust your appliance to last for many years. Even if you do clench and grind, though, the device can still last for years. You even get the added benefit of protecting your teeth from damage. However, your appliance may need to be adjusted every year or so to make sure it still fits well and remains in good condition.
Will I Have to Wear My Oral Appliance Forever?
Not necessarily. There may be ways to overcome your sleep apnea, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol before bedtime, and changing your sleeping position. The right solutions can vary from patient to patient. During your consultation, we can go over your medical history and lifestyle to come up with a personalized action plan to conquer your sleep apnea. Of course, in order to monitor your progress, regular follow-up appointments will be necessary.