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Do you experience any of these sleep-related problems?

  • Heavy snoring during sleep.
  • Someone has told you that you sometimes stop breathing or gasp for air in your sleep.
  • Waking up drowsy.
  • Waking up with headaches, neck or back tension.
  • Short-term memory challenges (especially in the morning).
These are all signs of a potentially dangerous condition known as Sleep Apnea. Frequently, they are all ignored; sometimes to the point that people never realize they have the disorder. At best, many suffer unknowingly for years, and at worst some die due to complications from the condition.

Snoring, for example, is a seemingly common occurrence while sleeping. It’s so common that many don’t see it as an issue at all – other than it being a noise issue for others.

So, for many it’s not cause for concern.

However, the act of snoring indicates some level of interference happening with your breathing while you sleep – your nose/mouth/throat are constricting in some way to cause the snoring to happen.

This is one of the main indicators of Sleep Apnea, and the solution is not always simple.

You might think you just need a nasal strip or a pillow to stop snoring, but the problem can have deeper roots and you may need to take a more serious approach.

Sleep Apnea Screener

If someone else observes you gasping for air or stopping breathing in your sleep, this is a red flag for Sleep Apnea.

Forget about over-the-counter solutions or other remedies you might consider … it is advised that you consult a doctor ASAP to see if you have Sleep Apnea.

One of the biggest dangers with Sleep Apnea is that you might not be getting enough oxygen in your sleep, which can have severe long-term detrimental effects - high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, dementia and more.

Another common occurrence with Sleep Apnea is that the apneas prevent you from actually sleeping.

The “apnea” in sleep apnea is when your body stops breathing and then physically jolts itself to start the breathing again.

Even if you don’t have problems with oxygen, this repeated reaction of the body to keep you breathing can prevent you from entering REM and Deep sleep, which has significant long-term consequences.

People who frequently wake up with headaches, or experience short-term memory problems (especially in the morning) may never consider that their sleep could be the problem. Both of these are symptoms of Sleep Apnea.

Your problems might be solved in isolation … if you are experiencing extra headaches, perhaps you might think you could drink more water or get more sleep, etc.

But most importantly all of these problems can signal that you have Sleep Apnea … and if you do, the individual solutions you seek may have no actual impact.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder which affects more than 25 million adults in the US alone.

It is marked by interruptions and pauses in breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by obstructions in the airway, such as the tongue rolling back in the throat or collapsed tissues in the airway

It can be difficult to know that you are suffering from Sleep Apnea because the condition and events which surround it are all occurring while you are sleeping.

For many people, they only discover that they have Sleep Apnea because someone else is able to tell them that they are observing clear signs.

This can include snoring, stopping breathing in your sleep, frequently moving in your sleep.

You might also yourself experience:

  • Extreme drowsiness during the day
  • Personality changes and irritability
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Waking up with a very dry or sore throat
  • Frequent morning headaches
  • Short term memory lapses (especially in the morning)

The dangers of untreated Sleep Apnea are varied and depend upon YOUR individual condition and experience. Risk caused by poor sleep include:

  • People who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to develop obesity than those who sleep more (BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 2018).
  • The risk of diabetes increases with too little sleep (less than seven hours) and too much sleep (more than nine hours). (Harvard School of Public Health, 2021).
  • Those who sleep less than six hours per night are 20% to 32% more likely to develop hypertension than people who get seven to eight hours of sleep per night (Sleep Medicine Clinics, 2016).
  • Not driving while sleepy, driving after less than or equal to five hours of sleep, and driving between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. may reduce up to 19% of car crash injuries (British Medical Journal, 2002).
  • Although both chronic lack of sleep (less than seven hours) and long sleep durations (more than nine hours) are associated with a higher risk of mortality, longer sleep durations come with the highest risk of mortality (Journal of the American Heart Association, 2017).
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“I came to Dr. Takacs and literally had this device within three weeks. It has changed my quality of life tremendously and the quality of professionalism that I receive here is phenomenal.”
-  Steve B.

“I have to set an alarm, so I don’t sleep too much! I’m truly a new man after having gone through having this appliance made and I would recommend anyone having sleep problems to come see (them)!"
- David J.
 
“Things are getting better. I’m sleeping better. I have a diagnosis and I have a path to successfully improve…”
- William S.

Sleep Apnea doesn’t HAVE to be something you suffer with.

You don’t need to go through life experiencing morning headaches, tiredness, irritability, weight gain, and the host of other problems and symptoms that come from having Sleep Apnea.

There are solutions.

One of the most common treatments for Sleep Apnea is a CPAP, or “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure”, machine.

This is a device that ensures you have constant air pressure and prevents the constriction of your breathing (thus preventing the apneas from happening). While highly effective, these machines are often loud, uncomfortable and inconvenient. They're hard to travel with, susceptible to mask leaks, and can contribute to upper respiratory illness.

At Sleep Better Lexington, we offer an alternative to the CPAP known as Oral Appliance Therapy. We've looked closely at jaw/mouth/facial structure in search of a more pleasant and effective solution to your sleep apnea.

These oral appliances reposition the jaw to prevent airway collapse while sleeping. They can be just as effective at preventing Sleep Apnea as the CPAP, and do so without strapping an uncomfortable hose to your face and breathing in forced air all night long.

If you think you are suffering from Sleep Apnea and might be a candidate for OAT, take this easy first step. Try our Sleep Apnea quiz, today.

Sleep Apnea Screener

 

If your results indicate that you are at risk, or if you've had a dentist or dental hygienist suggest you might be, please schedule a sleep study with your primary physician immediately. 

Once diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea by your physician, our team will work with you on an Oral Appliance Therapy evaluation to see if it is the right alternative for you.

“Once you come visit us, we start each new patient evaluation with an in-depth conversation discussing your sleep habits and schedule,” says Sleep Better Lexington’s Dr. Trish Takacs. “Then we’ll perform a series of physical exams to evaluate the alignment and function of your teeth, jaws, neck and nasal passageways.”

Dr. Takacs says these tests are nothing to worry about as there’s typically no pain or discomfort, and they are performed conveniently in our office. You should be in and out of the office in 60-90 minutes.

Here are the evaluations you can expect at your new patient exam:

Cone Beam CT: provides a 3D image of airways, teeth, and jaws (basically an X-ray).

Head and neck exam: physical look at the teeth, tongue, jaws and head and neck muscles to study how they move and interact with one another. This data will help us decide how to best treat your sleep apnea and eliminate that loud snoring and labored, sporadic breathing keeping you (and your partner) up at night. 

To schedule an evaluation with our sleep team, please click below.

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