sleep apneaDoes your spouse or significant other complain about your snoring? Do you wake up feeling like you haven’t slept at all? Do you have headaches in the morning? You might be suffering from sleep apnea and not even know it.

Definition of Sleep Apnea

When people suffer from sleep apnea, they experience short lapses in breathing while they are asleep. You stop breathing several times throughout the night, but you are unaware of it or the danger that you exhibit. In many cases, patients stop breathing more than 100 times throughout a sleep cycle. Your brain and body are not getting the oxygen they need to survive and work at their best.

Scientists have found two types of sleep apnea — obstructive and central. Like the name implies, with obstructive, the tongue blocks the airway. Soft tissue in the back of the throat collapse and be a barrier to breath. It is more common type of sleep apnea. In central, the brain fails to send the signal to breathe to the lungs. This is caused by instability in the respiratory control center.

Are You a Candidate for Sleep Apnea?

While sleep apnea can affect anyone, you are more likely to experience it if you meet these criteria.

  • Male older than 40
  • Overweight
  • Neck size greater than 17 inches for men or 16 inches for women
  • Large tonsils
  • Large tongue
  • Small jaw bone
  • Genetics
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Deviated septum
  • Allergies
  • Sinus problems

What Problems Occur With Sleep Apnea?

When sleep apnea goes untreated, you could experience high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure or irregular heart beats, heart attacks, diabetes, depression, worsening attention deficit hyperactive disorder, and headaches. Sleep apnea causes you to be tired at work or school, often sleeping in the middle of the day. This would lead to poor performance. You might sleep at the wheel.

What Are the Treatments?

Come to Dr. Pat Crawford if you suspect sleep apnea. Call now for a consultation, Pat Crawford DDS, (262) 649-9436
. We will not only diagnose but also treat your sleep apnea. At Pat Crawford DDS, we provide continuous positive airway pressure, dental appliances or mouth guards. These prevent the airway blockage while you are sleeping. When you wear these appliances, you won’t snore.

To use the CPAP, a machine with three parts sends air into your throat so that your airways remain open at all times throughout the night. CPAP includes a mask that fits over your nose and mouth, a motor that blows air and a tube that connects to the motor and mask.

Mouth guards and dental appliances also work to keep your airway open while you dream. They are custom-fitted to your mouth. Your lower jaw moves slightly forward so your mouth can’t close properly. The end result is keeping your breath flowing properly. Dentists also use a tongue splint that forces the tongue to not block your airway.

Call for Evaluation

If you believe that you might have sleep apnea, you should make an appointment with Dr. Crawford. He will evaluate your situation and recommend the right treatment for you. Call, (262) 649-9436
, to schedule your evaluation with Pat Crawford DDS at 7851 Cooper Rd Kenosha, WI 53142.