A Better Quality of Life
For many patients, relatively simple lifestyle changes can make a significant impact on the severity of their sleep disordered breathing and TMJ related pain.
Simple changes that make an impact:
- Weight loss
- Avoidance of sedatives and/or alcohol before bed
- Avoiding sleep on your back
- Reduce night time stress
However, if you are not significantly overweight, don’t use alcohol/sedatives, or don’t sleep on your back, then these changes will have little effect.
In cases such as these, you should seek the advice of your family doctor to evaluate for a possible sleep disorder.
While sleep apnea just a few years ago was considered to be a disease of “fat, older men,” doctors are now finding significant sleep apnea in thin women and even children.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Linked Health Issues
Sleep Apnea is also considered a risk factor for several serious health problems, such as:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Attack
*Note that most insurance companies consider the treatment of snoring as a “cosmetic” issue, and therefore won’t cover the cost of treatment.
Affects Children Also
Sleep apnea also affects children. Usually this is due to the child having large tonsils that obstruct the airway; just like in adults, often snoring is a sign of an obstructed airway. Some of the problems common in children that have been linked to sleep apnea include:
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Mood disorders
- Bed wetting
- Problems learning
- Growth problems
To see if your child may be at risk, view the video of sleep apnea in children.
Affects Sleep Partner
Sleep apnea can also adversely affect the sleep of the bed partner of the person with sleep apnea. Please click the link to read a study done by the Mayo Clinic on the effect of sleep apnea and snoring on the bed partner.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
The quality of your sleep greatly affects your quality of life. The good news is that help is readily available from a sleep apnea clinic and usually doesn’t require medications. If you think you may have sleep apnea or you know someone who might, please ask us for a referral to a qualified sleep specialist in your area, or talk to your primary care doctor. Treating sleep apnea can add more life to your years and more years to your life.
Oral appliance therapy has become a widely used and accepted method of treating sleep disordered breathing. The gold standard therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Although CPAP is usually very effective in treating OSA, there are many patients who are not able to tolerate its use. If you have tried to use CPAP but have given up on using the therapy, an oral appliance may be for you. Contact CPC Idaho, your sleep apnea clinic, for a consultation.