A Practical Solution to Sleep Apnea
Leaving behind the status quo CPAP machines for a more comfortable, modern treatment that gets you sleeping again
Do you ever wake up feeling like you haven’t really slept that much? For millions of people, that is exactly the case! For the unfortunate people who suffer from sleep apnea, a collapse of tissue in the airway causes them to stop breathing for about 10 seconds at a time while they sleep, which inhibits healthy sleep as it happens over and over again.
If you’re consistently feeling tired, falling asleep in the middle of activities, nodding off while driving, or snoring loudly, it may be time to seek help! We know it can be a nightmare to face the day without enough sleep.
Why fix my sleep apnea issues?
If you get a poor night’s rest, it is going to affect pretty much everything you do that day, and maybe the next day. You may be a more irritable parent, a less effective employee, and a dangerous driver. It’s more than an annoyance. Poor sleep is recognized as a national public health problem. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, about a third of people report unintentionally falling asleep in the last month. About five percent report nodding off at the wheel, which may be the most important case for treating sleep apnea.
The estimated number of US adults with a sleep or wakefulness disorder.
Others experience mood swings, depression, and worsened memory and decision-making skills.
But beyond lack of productivity and mood effects, the research is clear that sleep is essential for overall wellness. People with sleep apnea face a serious increase in risk of disease. For example, they are
- twice as likely to have a heart attack.
- 4 times more likely to have a stroke.
- 3 times more likely to have coronary heart disease.
- More likely to be obese.
There are also sleep-related dental problems, like heartburn/acid reflux and bruxism.
Okay, but do I have to wear a CPAP machine?
In one recent episode of Modern Family, Cam is wearing a CPAP machine to bed, and the show points out all the problems with the device in a humorous way. They are clunky and aggravating, with chin straps a full mask.
CPAP machines are the traditional solution for those suffering from sleep apnea. But this cumbersome device presents some problems. First and foremost, we haven’t really met anyone who likes it! Because it’s not a very comfortable machine, a lot of people simply don’t use it even if they have access or are under doctor’s orders. 90 percent of people report side effects, like discomfort, nasal congestion, claustrophobia, chest discomfort and more.
In our office, we use what is called a TAP appliance. It’s adjustable and fits over upper and lower teeth, bringing the jaw forward and opening up the airway. It allows us to provide a personalized, comfortable solution to our patients who desperately need a good night’s rest. And when the snoring stops, we get a lot of thanks for spouses too!
Here’s what one of our patients had to say:
I love my snore guard from Dr. Larsen! I do not snore anymore! I had no idea that there was a product that would help me with my problem and I was grateful to find out that Dr. Larsen provided this service. Not only do I get a better night’s sleep, but my husband is finally getting some sleep too! Dr. Larsen and his staff have been awesome to help me and continue to follow up with me. THANK YOU!