My Blog

Posts for: May, 2016

By Robert Wick, DDS
May 10, 2016
Category: Health
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

If you have problems sleeping, you may notice that those problems snowball into issues which affect many parts of your life. Getting a good night’s sleep is imperative for both your general and mental health. Your bad night’s sleep may be due to a serious and complex condition called sleep apnea. However, this condition is treatable with help from your Hayward, CA dentist Dr. Robert Wick.Sleep Apnea

What is sleep apnea?

Approximately 18 to 20 million people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. OSA causes apneas, or pauses in breathing during sleep. Apneas occur due to a blockage in the airway which prevents oxygen from getting to the lungs. This blockage is normally due to excess tissue blocking the airway or the muscles in the airway collapsing or becoming too relaxed while sleeping.

How do I know if I have sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea patients’ bed partner often notices their symptoms before they do. Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • pauses in breathing while asleep
  • excessive, loud snoring
  • waking suddenly to gasping or choking
  • daytime sleepiness and problems staying awake throughout the day
  • morning headaches
  • irritability, mood swings or depression
  • insomnia

How is sleep apnea diagnosed and treated?

Your doctor diagnoses sleep apnea based on several factors. Medical history, family history, symptoms, your physical exam and the results of a sleep study test are all taken into account. It is helpful to keep a log of your sleep apnea experiences, how often they happen, the times you sleep and how you feel in the morning.

Sleep apnea is most commonly treated with a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine. A mask worn over the nose and mouth while sleeping gently blows a stream of air into the airway. The pressure from the air keeps the airway open and prevents it from collapsing. Most patients notice immediate relief from symptoms when they start using a CPAP machine. Dental appliances to align the jaw and neck muscles are also a common treatment. More mild treatments include lifestyle changes like losing weight or sleeping in different positions.

For more information on sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Wick at his Hayward, CA dental office. Call (510) 782-1444 to schedule your appointment today!