When Should I See a Doctor About Sleep Apnea?

Maybe you’re experiencing difficulty sleeping or you might not be sure why you’re feeling tired all day every day. You can come to Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders and speak with one of our sleep doctors about your issue. Keep reading to learn more about these topics. Serving patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Columbia MO, Kansas City MO, Albuquerque NM, Brewster NY, El Paso TX, Wausau WI.

When Should I See a Doctor About Sleep Apnea?

What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when someone is sleeping and their breathing repeatedly stops and starts. You might think a person would realize this is happening to them, but often people don’t realize it unless their sleep partner points it out. There are other warning signs to look out for, like:

  • Waking up feeling very tired even though you may think you slept well
  • Waking up feeling as though you’re gasping or choking
  • Excessive weight gain, an inability to lose weight, high blood pressure, or diabetes
  • Loud snoring during sleep
  • Restlessness during sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Awakenings that recur
  • Difficulty breathing from the nose or mouth
  • Significant daytime tiredness/fatigue
  • Problems with short term memory
  • Mood changes
  • Depression, severe anxiety, temperamental behavior, or ADD/ADHD
  • Acid reflux
  • A decreased sex drive
  • Headaches

If you’ve been experiencing some of the issues above, then you really should seek professional care. The issues may be indicative of sleep apnea, and sleep apnea can lead to other health problems.

Is sleep apnea a sign of a serious health problem?

Generally, sleep apnea indicates that the soft tissue in the back of the throat is obstructing the throat. This may be due to obesity. Sometimes the tongue or throat muscles cause the problem, or a person’s lower jaw falling back toward the throat. This can happen with a TMJ (jaw joint) disorder. Less commonly, sleep apnea is indicative that a person’s brain isn’t sending the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. Also, it’s possible that genetics is a factor in who gets sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea itself is a serious problem because it can lead to behavioral disorders in children and even fatal health problems for adults. If it’s left untreated in an adult, sleep apnea can eventually lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, or other health issues. All this is why it’s so important and even vital to treat sleep apnea.

What kind of doctor can diagnose sleep apnea?

A sleep apnea doctor is the type of professional you’ll want to see about sleep apnea, or even about sleep in general. This kind of professional is especially qualified to help you and provide a lasting solution for sleep apnea and other sleep problems, including sleep apnea caused by TMJ disorders. Just keep in mind that different sleep apnea doctors may suggest different treatments for you.

What happens if I am diagnosed with sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is often considered a chronic condition which means it isn’t necessarily curable, but this doesn’t mean the symptoms can’t be relieved. It’s possible to relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea and even the condition itself. Losing weight may be a major part of your treatment plan.

Often CPAP therapy is offered by doctors for the treatment of sleep apnea, and while it works for many patients, it doesn’t work for all, and often oral appliance therapy is preferred by patients. This kind of therapy is actually much simpler, easier, and more comfortable for patients to do, as it entails the use of a simple mouthpiece at night instead of a bulky CPAP machine.

Oral appliance therapy is approved by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and offered by our sleep apnea doctors here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. Quite often, all a patient needs is oral appliance therapy for the treatment of their sleep apnea, and it may be the best treatment for you too!

What’s the next step for me?

Get in touch with our clinic today to learn more about sleep apnea and our doctors and treatments. Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders has multiple locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin, and you can find their addresses and contact information on our Locations page. Go ahead and contact us at one of our locations for more information or for a consultation, or call our head office at (855) 977-0400. We look forward to hearing from you soon!