Sleep apnea is a medical condition, and to get a diagnosis, patients must usually undergo a fairly easy sleep study. You may want to consider getting a study done if you experience the following: daytime sleepiness, inability to concentrate, mood swings, anxiety, or memory loss. Many people know they have the issue because they wake up frequently during the night gasping for air, or have a bed partner who witnesses the episodes.
Unfortunately, many people don’t follow-through with the most common treatment prescribed which is the use of a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) because it is bulky and uncomfortable. Since, according to this study, the consequences of letting sleep apnea go untreated are severe, patients should consider another alternative.
A dentist experienced in sleep apnea therapy can fit patients with an oral appliance worn during sleep which is designed to keep airways open and decrease the amount of episodes. It is effective for those with mild and moderate apnea, and has a higher probability of patients using the device because it is less obtrusive.
If you are a professional driver, sleep apnea causes drowsiness which can result in severe traffic accidents. If you feel you are at risk for this condition, it is important to get treatment immediately.