SCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ CA
Sleep apnea plagues millions of people in the U.S. You might have sleep apnea and not even know it. Its symptoms range from snoring, fatigue, weight gain or inability to lose weight, mood swings, and depression, among other signs. The best way to know if you have sleep apnea is to see an airway dentist in Scotts Valley or undergo an official sleep study. If you receive a sleep apnea diagnosis or already have been told that you have a sleep-breathing disorder, you may be left wondering – is there a cure for sleep apnea? Today on the blog, neuromuscular dentists in Scotts Valley at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry answer this question.
First, let’s look at what sleep apnea is and the causes of it
Sleep apnea is when the airways are partially or fully blocked during sleep, which means that the lungs don’t receive enough air. As the air slides past the blockage, snoring or gasping for air sounds may be heard. The blockage may occur due to enlarged soft tissues in the airway (like the tonsils or adenoids), jaw misalignment that causes the tongue to block the throat when lying down, or excess fat around the neck. If you have sleep apnea, you aren’t getting enough air while sleeping, which means the brain wakes to signals the body to resume breathing. Since this happens during sleep, the brain isn’t able to remain in a restful state long enough for you to feel rested the next day. This is why daytime fatigue is most often a common sign of sleep apnea.
Why is sleep apnea a big deal?
Sleep apnea is a serious condition because it deprives your body of oxygen and sleep. Just like our bodies require a certain amount of food and water each day, we also need air and sleep. Insufficient amounts of these crucial elements directly impact health and wellness. Studies link sleep apnea to an increased risk of cardiovascular events, diabetes, dementia, and even depression, which is why getting treatment is necessary to protect your health.
So, here is the answer to the big question – is there a cure for sleep apnea?
Short answer, no. There are cures for many diseases and ailments. A cure means that after medical intervention, you no longer experience symptoms related to the disease or condition. On the other hand, treatments exist for many health-related conditions but are relied upon to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. For instance, diabetes is not curable, but it is treatable and can be managed with the right medical care, diet, and lifestyle choices. However, no treatment exists that will cure a diabetic of their disease.
Sleep apnea may or may not be curable, depending on your treatment method.
How is sleep apnea treated?
Mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea can be managed by using a CPAP machine while sleeping or a more convenient treatment is by wearing a custom-made oral appliance to help facilitate an open airway. While both methods help manage sleep apnea, curbing its symptoms, they will not permanently cure the condition entirely. The only way to cure sleep apnea is to either undergo surgery to remove the soft tissue blockage or lose weight if weight is what’s causing your sleep-breathing disorder. However, surgery is usually only recommended in severe cases of sleep apnea, and not every patient that is a candidate for this surgery is able or willing to go through with it. Additionally, losing weight is not an easy feat, and if you achieve this goal, your sleep apnea could return if you pack on the extra weight again.
At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we offer a comfortable and convenient way to manage sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. There is no need for surgery, recovery, or time off from your usual routine. Oral appliance therapy is just as effective, if not more than CPAP therapy, but without the hassle of cords, needing electricity, and dealing with cleaning the machine all of the time.
Alternative Treatments for Sleep Apnea in Scotts Valley, Los Gatos, and Santa Cruz
If you’d like to learn more about sleep apnea treatment in Scotts Valley or need to schedule an evaluation to see if you have sleep apnea, contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry by calling (831) 438-4411. If you have sleep apnea, ignoring it could be detrimental to your health. Find out how you can manage your sleep apnea without an annoying CPAP machine when you contact our office today.