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What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition where your breathing stops while you are asleep. “Apnea” is a Greek word that translates to “without breath.” Persons with this condition may stop breathing hundreds of times overnight. There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Central: caused by a failure of the brain to signal the breathing muscles
- Obstructive: caused by an airway blockage
- Mixed: a combination of the above causes
Over 18 million Americans suffer from a form of sleep apnea. Over time, the low quality of sleep can cause a wide range of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, weight gain, memory problems, impotence, and headaches. The lack of sleep itself can also be a risk, contributing to car accidents and poor job performance.
How do you know if you have sleep apnea?
There are many symptoms, such as loud and disruptive snoring, obesity, persistent fatigue, waking up out of breath in the middle of the night, waking in the morning with dry mouth, or frequent headaches. Though these are all signs of sleep apnea, a person may not have any symptoms. A sleep apnea test is the only way to diagnose the condition and evaluate its severity.
What causes sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea causes depend on its type. Obstructive, the most common form, is caused by a blockage in the airway. Most often, this is when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses over the airway. Central is a problem with the brain failing to signal the operation of the breathing muscles. This causes the sufferer to partially wake up in order to breathe. Mixed is a combination of both causes.
Fortunately, there are numerous sleep apnea treatment options on the market:
- Positive airway pressure devices (CPAPs) are electronic medical devices for treatment that ensure you can breathe from a steady stream of air.
- Upper airway stimulation therapy is a new, high-tech device that works inside your body to treat sleep apnea.
- A dental appliance is available, similar in appearance and function to orthodontic appliances or the protective gear worn by athletes. They hold the lower jaw forward to prevent the soft tissue at the back of the throat from collapsing. Make an appointment with your dentist about getting an oral appliance for sleep apnea in Brewster.
- Positional therapy involves training the patient to sleep on their side or stomach, which can prevent symptoms.
- Nasal decongestants and nasal surgery may be necessary to remove sources of obstruction.
- Weight loss can ease or prevent symptoms in some cases.
- Avoiding alcohol before bed can prevent symptoms.
- There are many other options for a sleep apnea mouth guard or sleep apnea mouthpiece available over-the-counter. Ask your doctor if these might be helpful.
What is an oral appliance for sleep apnea?
A sleep apnea oral appliance, also known as a dental appliance for sleep apnea, can come in a variety of different forms. Most of them resemble orthodontics, mouth guards against teeth grinding, or a sports mouth guard. This kind of appliance prevents the lower jaw from falling back, which helps keep airways open.
How much does a sleep apnea oral appliance cost?
The oral appliance for sleep apnea cost will depend on your insurance coverage. The sleep apnea dental appliance cost is less than other therapies such as surgery. In addition, the cost is less than treatment for a variety of other health problems.
What are the benefits of oral appliance therapy treatment (OAT)?
Easing the symptoms of obstructive sleep with an OAT has many benefits. Most patients see immediate improvement. Though the OAT may not be an official anti-snoring mouth appliance or snoring appliance, many patients report less snoring. The OAT is compact and discreet, which is helpful for patients who travel. Last but not least, an OAT improves the effectiveness of other treatments. Make an appointment with your dentist for sleep apnea in Brewster.
Is sleep apnea oral appliance therapy covered by insurance?
Is sleep apnea covered by insurance? Yes, health insurance. Your dentist should inquire with your health insurer for the specifics of your dental appliance insurance. When treating sleep apnea, no insurance coverage can be financially challenging. The cost of a sleep apnea test without insurance will depend on where the test is being performed. For more information about treating sleep apnea in Brewster, contact your dentist. Call us today at (845) 764-9263 or book an appointment online.