Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder that can have far-reaching consequences. Marked by a cessation of breath for several seconds, multiple times while sleeping, this disorder can result in daytime fatigue, mood fluctuations, cognitive disruption, and increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and hypertension.
Dr. Chélise Kasun cannot diagnose sleep apnea. However, if you have been diagnosed with the disorder or are suffering from its symptoms, she can work closely with your doctor to provide the most effective sleep apnea treatment.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive, or OSA. OSA occurs when soft tissue in the palate and throat over relax during sleep, blocking your airway and preventing the flow of oxygen. People who suffer from OSA may have symptoms including:
- Chronic snoring
- Periods of breath cessation followed by choking or gasping for air
- General restlessness
- Waking with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Frequent morning headaches
- Frequent nighttime urination
These symptoms are general and often do not indicate sleep apnea, but if you are concerned you may want to seek a sleep test. This is the only way to diagnose sleep apnea and is the first step in getting the treatment you need to restore a restful night’s sleep.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea treatment will depend on the type of the disorder you are suffering from. If you suffer from central sleep apnea; caused when signals between your brain and breathing muscles are interrupted; you may require a CPAP machine to provide a continuous flow of oxygen while you sleep. However, many people find CPAP machines obtrusive and uncomfortable, and they are often unnecessary when you have OSA.
Dr. Kasun has worked with many local doctors to help people with OSA find the least invasive treatments possible. This may include an oral device to be worn at night combined with simple lifestyle adjustments. What is best for you can be determined during your sleep apnea treatment appointment with Dr. Kasun.
Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea
If you have been diagnosed with this more common form of sleep apnea, Dr. Chélise Kasun can work with your doctor to find a noninvasive, yet entirely effective treatment option.
Many cases of OSA can be treated with the same type of oral device used to treat snoring. These devices work by gently holding your jaw forward and keeping your tongue in its place, preventing the obstruction of your airway. Your oral device will be customized to fit comfortably into your mouth, helping ensure it does not interfere with your sleep.
What is CPAP Treatment?
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) may be the only treatment option for central sleep apnea. With CPAP, a mask or tubing is worn during sleep through which a continuous flow of oxygen is supplied by an adjacent machine.
Many people find CPAP masks and tubes uncomfortable to wear. Others find the sounds of the machine disquieting. These things often allow CPAP machines to further interfere with sleep, making them less than ideal for treating all forms of sleep apnea. While Dr. Kasun does not treat sleep apnea with a CPAP machine, she does use oral appliances, which in many cases are an effective CPAP alternative.
Risk factors for sleep apnea include:
- Excessive alcohol use
- Narcotic use
In some cases, your sleep doctor and Dr. Kasun may recommend making simple lifestyle changes to complement your oral treatment. These may include quitting smoking, drinking only in moderation, and adopting an overall healthier lifestyle.
Each case of sleep apnea is unique. Dr. Kasun will work closely with you and your sleep doctor to find the most effective methods to restore your best night’s sleep