Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of adults in the U.S. every year. For individuals with this condition, breathing is periodically interrupted while sleeping. This generally leads to a poor night’s sleep, which can also lead to problems functioning during the day. Fortunately, there are treatments for sleep apnea. The Sleep Apnea Dental Alternatives at Resh Family Dentistry in Hamstead, MD, provides sleep apnea treatments.
One method for treating sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy, better known as CPAP. It is a nonsurgical treatment method that is commonly used to treat adults struggling with sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea have trouble breathing when they sleep because their airway collapses and doesn’t allow enough air to reach the lungs. When the airway collapses, there is often a brief pause in breathing. CPAP helps prevent interruptions in breathing by increasing air pressure in the throat, which keeps the airway open.
CPAP involves a few pieces of medical equipment; a machine and a sleep mask. Some masks cover both the mouth and the nose, but the most commonly used type of mask covers just the nose. While you sleep, the machine delivers a specific amount of air pressure to your airway through the mask. Your doctor will help determine how much air pressure works best for you so that the machine can be placed on the right settings.
Benefits of CPAP
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services list several benefits associated with CPAP. These benefits include better sleep at night, diminished snoring while sleeping and reduced sleepiness during the day. Another major benefit of CPAP is lower blood pressure. It helps prevent high blood pressure or decrease it for patients who already have high blood pressure.
While there are multiple positive benefits associated with CPAP therapy, some patients do experience a few side effects associated with using the mask. Potential problems include nasal congestion, sore throat, dry nose or a runny nose. Some patients also experience mild skin or eye irritation after using the mask. Nose bleeds can also occur but are not common. In general, you might experience some slight discomfort when first wearing the CPAP mask. This should diminish within a few days as you become more used to the mask. If not, speak to your Hampstead doctor about making some adjustments or trying other treatment options.
Sleep apnea affects millions of adults, but many do not know they suffer from it. Regularly snoring, waking up at night and feeling sleepy and unrested throughout the day can be signs of having sleep apnea.
To find out if sleep apnea is affecting you and how to treat it, speak to Dr. Eric Resh of the Sleep Apnea Dental Alternatives at Resh Family Dentistry in Hampstead, MD.