Many people just associate sleep apnea with snoring. However, they don’t know the serious implications behind it. Rather than just being an annoyance, snoring is a sign of a legitimate issue. Dr. Linda Hallman of FitBite Orthodontics is also experienced in sleep apnea treatment in Chevy Chase, MD. She provides the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and how you can make sure you get treatment.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea, also known as obstructive sleep apnea or OSA, is a sleep disorder where your breathing gets interrupted while you’re sleeping. This is due to the muscles and tissue in the back of your throat collapsing. Throughout the night, your airway can be blocked multiple times, causing your body to react with a stress response. Since you’re sleeping when this occurs, you may not know you have this condition until you have symptoms in the daytime.
Sleep Apnea Signs and Symptoms
While snoring is one of the most common signs, there are many other things that can tell you you have sleep apnea. Snoring is also something that you usually don’t notice on your own, so you may not even know you do it unless a partner or roommate brings it up to you. If you have any of these other signs, you should seek out Chevy Chase, Maryland sleep apnea treatment:
- Feeling tired when you wake up, even though you thought you got a full night of sleep
- Headaches, particularly in the morning
- Irritability and depression
- Falling asleep while driving
- Waking up gasping for air throughout the night
- Extreme fatigue and restlessness
Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea
At FitBite Orthodontics, Dr. Hallman utilizes oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea. This is an alternative to the CPAP machine that many recognize as the main treatment for sleep apnea. The CPAP machine is large, hard to transport while traveling, and may be difficult for people to sleep with successfully due to the suction on the face.
With oral appliance therapy, the appliance is customized to fit you. Similar to a mouthguard, it’s worn while you’re sleeping to ensure that your airway stays open. Dr. Hallman offers the following three oral appliances and will hold a consultation with you to determine which one will offer the best experience for you.
ProSomnus® Sleep Apnea and Snoring Devices: For milder cases of sleep apnea, these are the tiniest oral appliances available. They keep you as comfortable as possible while you sleep.
SomonoDent (Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance): This is custom-designed to reposition your jaw while you’re sleeping. The lower jaw is placed in a more forward position to allow your throat to relax and prevent your tongue from collapsing into your airway.
TAP®: This device also shifts the jaw into a more ideal position for your airway. It utilizes the same technique as CPR, ensuring that airflow can properly get into your airway.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Chevy Chase, Maryland
Are you suffering from symptoms that could point to sleep apnea? Call us today or schedule an appointment online to get started with treatment.