Category : Obstructive Sleep Apnea Southlake TX

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How Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affects You on the Job

Obstructive sleep apnea can impact your job performance.The effects of lack of sleep among U.S. workers made headlines this week, when a study by nonprofit Rand Corp. quantified the economic impact of this concerning trend. A staggering $411 billion and 1.2 million working days were lost due to lack of sleep. In a number of those cases, it is quite feasible that individuals did allot the prescribed 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, but that another phenomenon robbed them of their rest: obstructive sleep apnea.

This condition, also known as OSA, occurs when an individual is sleeping, so the person affected may never know it is occurring. It’s characterized by the relaxation of muscles in the throat during sleep, and when the tongue falls back, further blocking the airway, oxygen intake is decreased.

Some of the ways obstructive sleep apnea can affect you at work include:

  • Reaction time – This can have more dramatic consequences for specific jobs, especially ones that require lifting or operating heavy machinery. All workers are affected, though, as decreased reaction time can increase the chance of a car accident during your commute.
  • Decisions – When you’re tired, it’s harder to work through tough judgment calls.
  • Concentration – The ability to focus, and often for sustained periods of time, may be necessary for many jobs. If you’re repeatedly having trouble keeping your attention on a task, it could point to a lack of sleep.

The good news is that patients today have multiple options for OSA treatment. Southlake’s DaVinci Dentistry is just one team that can deal with this sleep-disordered breathing problem through the use of a custom-fitted oral appliance. As patients learn what it is to feel refreshed each day, they’ll likely find that their performance at work improves, too. If you have questions about diagnosing OSA and the solutions we provide, contact us at 817-251-9333.

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Risk factors for sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea diagram

In Texas, dentists and physicians can diagnose and treat obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the tongue and muscles in the throat relax during sleep and fall back against the throat. This can reduce the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart and brain. While these interruptions in breathing may be imperceptible to the individual, they also disrupt sleep, which means that daytime drowsiness is just one of myriad health problems associated with sleep apnea.

Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea are staggeringly broad, and include:

  • being male;
  • excess weight;
  • smoking and/or alcohol use;
  • age (while even children can experience sleep apnea, incidence increases with age);
  • family history;
  • nasal congestion; and
  • neck size (risk of sleep apnea is higher in men with a neck circumference of 17 inches or more and in women with a neck circumference of 15 inches or more).

A second type of sleep apnea, known as central sleep apnea, occurs when breathing starts and stops repeatedly during sleep, not because of an obstruction in the airway but because the brain fails to send the signals to the muscles that control breathing. Dentists do not treat this type of sleep apnea.

If you think you may be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea, the Southlake team of DaVinci Dentistry is here to talk to you about sleep studies, diagnosis and treatment with a custom oral appliance. Our goal is to get you the sleep you need and deserve to live a healthy, beautiful life. We are only a phone call away: 817-251-9333.

 

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Treating obstructive sleep apnea: CPAP therapy vs. oral appliances

You’ve discussed your symptoms with your dentist. You diligently completed the at-home sleep study. Then there’s the diagnosis. You do indeed have obstructive sleep apnea. Now what?

When it comes to treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, you have several options that accomplish the same goal — keeping the airway open to ensure you get the oxygen you need during sleep — but in very different ways. As you weigh your options, it may help to understand two of the most common forms of treatment: CPAP machines and oral appliances.

A full face mask for a CPAP machine.

A full face mask for a CPAP machine

CPAP therapy

CPAP — continuous positive airway pressure — machines operate much like their description. The machine prevents your throat from collapsing when you inhale during sleep by providing a constant stream of air pressure. It consists of prongs that fit into your nose, and a mask that covers the nose or both the nose and mouth. Connected to the mask is a tube through which the air passes from the machine to your throat.

Oral appliances

Similar in appearance to a sports mouthguard, the most common dental appliances for sleep apnea fit over the upper and lower teeth like a retainer. Known as mandibular advancement devices, they have a pole-like attachment that pushes the lower jaw forward and down, propping the mouth open and preventing the throat from collapsing during sleep.

How we can help

When it comes to treating obstructive sleep apnea, we at DaVinci Dentistry know there’s no one-size-fits all solution for everyone. CPAP machines may indeed be the best option for some patients. But for those who cannot tolerate them (noise, nasal congestion, skin and eye irritation, and mask leaks are among the most common complaints), dental appliances provide a viable solution. The fact that they are silent, simple to use and portable is appealing to many patients.

If you experience drowsiness on a regular basis and snore at night (or are told by a bed mate that you snore), talk to us about it. As dentists trained in dental sleep medicine, we can coordinate the sleep studies required for diagnosis and fit you with a custom-made appliance. Call 817-251-9333.

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Resolving to have more energy in the New Year: Investigating whether sleep apnea may be the cause of your daytime drowsiness

Sleep apnea word cloud concept with insomnia snore related tagsDo you often feel tired and lack the energy needed to get through the day? Poor sleep could be too blame, but the problem doesn’t stop there.

Inadequate sleep can put you at risk for myriad health problems and other concerns, including:

  • forgetfulness;
  • inability to concentrate;
  • memory loss;
  • car accidents;
  • weight gain;
  • high blood pressure;
  • diabetes;
  • stroke;
  • heart disease;
  • heart attack; and
  • more.

While getting enough sleep can be a matter of changing behavior and lifestyle patterns, sometimes the answer is not so simple. Even for adults who carve out the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night, a condition known as sleep apnea robs many of the rest they need to function and thrive.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway temporarily closes during sleep as a result of soft tissues collapsing in the throat. This can occur for seconds at a time to a minute or more. The interruptions in sleep may not even be noticeable to you, but when it happens hundreds of times a night, the sleep loss adds up.

So how do you know if you have sleep apnea? Among many symptoms, drowsiness can be a telltale sign, but to be sure, a sleep test can be ordered. With advances in modern dentistry, more and more dentists — including your team at DaVinci — play a vital role in diagnosing and treating this condition. If you think you may be at risk for sleep apnea, consider making investigating this condition a part of your 2016 New Year’s resolutions.

During your appointment, we can talk to you about ordering a sleep study and the custom-fitted oral appliances that prop the airway open during sleep. It’s amazing what a huge difference this treatment can make on your life. We’re located in Southlake and serve surrounding communities throughout DFW and North Texas. Call us at 817-251-9333.

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Do I have obstructive sleep apnea? 8 common symptoms

A man rests his head on his hands after a restless night's sleepObstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in your throat relax during sleep, blocking the airway and disrupting breathing, causing it to stop and start repeatedly. One of the most eye-opening things we tell our patients is that they may not even know they have obstructive sleep apnea. Because obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that occurs during sleep, you’re likely not to be aware of it. What you can take stock of, though, is symptoms you may experience throughout the day.

Below are eight common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea:

  • loud snoring (often witnessed by another person);
  • cessation in breathing (also often witnessed by another person);
  • dry mouth upon awakening;
  • morning headaches;
  • waking up repeatedly during sleep;
  • excessive sleepiness/drowsiness during the day;
  • irritability; and
  • attention problems.

Are you experiencing many or all of these symptoms? While this list may not outright mean you are one of the millions of Americans dealing with this disorder, it does mean you’ll want to talk to your dentist or other health care providers to find out more.

As dentists, we can fabricate a customized oral appliance just for you, designed to keep the airway open during sleep. This gives you back the rest you need, allowing you to more fully embrace each day. Talk with us about diagnosis and treatment options during your next appointment. Contact us: 817-251-9333.