How to Find Doctors for Sleep Apnea?
If you or a loved one is experiencing sleep apnea, come to Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders today for professional treatment. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Columbia MO, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI. For more information call us at one of our clinics today or request an appointment online.
Sleep apnea is a common condition, affecting the lives of approximately 50 million Americans. This sleep disorder is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep called apneas; the breathing disruptions can last for several seconds, and in severe cases, there can be hundreds of apneas per night. That means that the sleeper stops breathing for seconds and even minutes at a time repeatedly throughout the night. During these episodes, oxygen is not taken into the body, and carbon dioxide is not expelled. This can wreak havoc on the body. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments for sleep apnea, and finding the right treatment starts with obtaining a diagnosis and then finding a treatment method that is effective; One that you will be able to use consistently all night, every night. Dentists provide a viable treatment option when it comes to sleep apnea that many people prefer over PAP therapies. When presented with options for treatment, make sure you consider speaking to a dentist who treats sleep apnea first.
How do you find a sleep apnea doctor?
When looking for a sleep apnea doctor, it can be difficult to know where to start. Some family physicians will see you for an initial consultation to discuss your sleep and then order a sleep study. Other family physicians and dentists may see you first, and then refer you to a sleep specialist for further evaluation and order of a sleep study. That sleep specialist may be a neurologist, a pulmonologist, or other medical specialist. Patients appreciate coming to the Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders first because our dental team takes the time to review your sleep and health history, educates you on the dangers of untreated sleep apnea, explains your options, and then will hold your hand through each step of the process from diagnosis to treatment.
To get in schedule a visit with a dentist treating sleep apnea, contact Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders today!
How do you treat sleep apnea?
There are several therapies that are proven to be effective for sleep apnea, and it might take some time to find the right solution in each situation. Therapies for sleep apnea include:
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) — Using a machine that delivers positive air pressure through a mask during sleep could be very beneficial for patients who can use it. With a CPAP machine, the air pressure is higher than that of the surrounding air. It works by blowing the tissues in the back of the throat apart to keep the airway open, thus preventing apnea and snoring.
- Oral Appliances — Another option for sleep apnea is wearing an Oral appliance designed to prevent the lower jaw and tongue from falling back and causing a blockage at the narrow opening of the throat. Wearing an Oral appliance during sleep also keeps the tissues at the back of the throat more firm thus treating apnea and snoring.
- Combination Therapy — In severe cases where an Oral appliance or CPAP alone does not fully treat a patient’s apnea, an Oral appliance with a low pressure CPAP can be used in combination for a highly successful result.
A number of devices are available from a dentist who treats sleep apnea, such as at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. The best treatment is unique to each patient, and different devices may be considered in order to find the best one for you. Once the right option is found, follow-up appointments with the dentist should be repeated during the first year and then regularly after that, to ensure that the fit is still good and to reassess any signs and symptoms.
What happens if sleep apnea is not treated?
If sleep apnea is left untreated, it can result in several complications, such as sleep deprivation, which, in turn, can also lead to heart-related risks including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and heart arrhythmia. In addition to excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.