Sleep apnea causes you to wake up gasping for air periodically through the night every night. Because it interrupts your sleep, you might feel tired during the day, even if you think you slept through the night. You may not even realize you have this problem until someone else tells you that you wake up after not breathing. It may also cause loud and labored snoring.
Because sleep apnea has the potential to cause long-term health effects due to lack of oxygen, it is in your best interest to see a sleep medicine specialist for a physical examination and possible treatment. Let’s talk about some of the main treatment options that are available to mitigate sleep apnea, and where you can go for an evaluation and to start getting a healthy night’s sleep again.
After you have a sleep study, your sleep specialist may recommend that you try sleeping while wearing a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). This treatment consists of a nasal or full-face mask that has a long, thin tube that connects to a machine that emits constant air pressure. As a result, it keeps your throat and airway open. You can change the settings on the machine per your comfort level.
A BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) is almost the same thing as a CPAP, except the BiPAP provides more air when you inhale and less air when you exhale. For some patients who have sleep apnea, a BiPAP is a better option because you don’t feel the force of air when you exhale – making it more tolerable.
A dental appliance is another option for keeping your airway open while you sleep. There are different types of dental appliances for the treatment of sleep apnea – one of them is similar to a protective mouth guard you wear over your teeth when playing sports, and another one keeps your tongue in place. The mouth-guard version repositions your jaw so that it is slightly forward.
One of the benefits of wearing a dental appliance is that it doesn’t make any noise while you sleep. Plus, it’s less obtrusive in bed as compared to a CPAP or a BiPAP. Your doctor will fit you for the device so that it sits comfortably in your mouth.
If a dental appliance, BiPAP, or CPAP don’t work to correct your sleep apnea, your medical practitioner may recommend that you have surgery to remove tissue that is blocking your airway while you sleep. Only excess tissue will be removed.
ENT Doctor in Georgetown, TX for Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you think you might have sleep apnea (or another sleeping problem) that is interfering with your sleep and causing you to feel excessively tired during the day, see our board-certified sleep specialist Dr. Scott Franklin. He will take the time necessary to identify your issue and find a solution that is best suited for you.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact Georgetown ENT today by calling us at (512) 869-0604 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you!