Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Treatment with Dr. AlJanabi

Sleep apnea is one of the most common and undiagnosed conditions in the United States, with over 10% of the population potentially suffering from it and only 10% of those sufferers receiving a diagnosis. That works out to 30 million sleep apnea sufferers and 27 million undiagnosed sleep apnea sufferers! You may be in this group if you are experiencing daytime drowsiness, snoring or breathlessness in the middle of the night. Contact Dr. AlJanabi for a consultation if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

What Happens During Sleep Apnea?

During a sleep apnea event, or apnea, your body stops breathing for anywhere between 10-60 seconds. This can be caused by a number of factors, and may occur up to 20-30 times an hour. This lack of oxygen dramatically impacts the effectiveness of your sleep, leaving you tired and unrested. The oxygen deprivation may also negatively affect your brain, diminishing function and leading to a host of systemic issues that affect your overall health. Sleep apnea has recently been linked to diabetes, cancer and the worsening of several other conditions.

Most commonly, sleep apnea is caused by the collapse of soft throat tissues, a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Less common sleep apnea forms include central sleep apnea, in which the root of the problem involves nervous system signals, and mixed sleep apnea, which is a combination of the two. As each patient is different, your sleep apnea may be caused by a unique set of factors, involving various throat tissues. A thorough examination may help determine the root of the issue.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Brooklyn Orthodontics

One of the easiest treatment options for sleep apnea patients in terms of ease of use are oral devices. If you feel you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact Dr. AlJanabi, who will be able to put you in touch with a trusted sleep specialist. Your consultation with the specialist will involve a thorough examination, and may include a sleep study. These studies are performed in two ways, by either spending the night at a sleep monitoring facility, an experience known as a “sleep test,” or by using a take-home device to monitor your sleep patterns. The sleep study is more accurate for most patients, but not all patients are able to sleep normally under these conditions, and the take-home sleep test is a better alternative.

Once the problem has been diagnosed, Dr. AlJanabi will be able to work with your specialist to custom fit an oral device for your use. These devices are specifically designed to hold your mouth in a certain position and affect your airflow in such a way that the soft tissue causing the problem is forced to remain open. There are a wide range of these devices across all levels of sleep apnea severity, cost and design.  Often if one form of oral device does not work effectively for you at first, Dr. AlJanabi will be able to offer you an alternative device.

Common Sleep Apnea Signs and Symptoms

Although sleep apnea is caused by a variety of factors and is expressed uniquely in each patient, there are several telltale signs and symptoms of sleep apnea that may be observed at home. Dr. AlJanabi encourages his patients to watch for these possible indicators in their spouses, family members and friends, and encourage them to seek medical help as soon as possible. Detection of this condition early can help prevent many dangerous side effects of untreated sleep apnea, including traffic accidents, depression and numerous health conditions.

Some sleep apnea indicators are more obvious than others, and it may often be easier to recognize sleep apnea when several of the indicators are present at once. These sleep apnea signs and symptoms include:

Interrupted breathing while asleep, including periods of ten or more seconds in which there is no
breathing

  • Daytime drowsiness, contributing to inattention, distraction and depression
  • Loud nighttime snoring
  • Persistent insomnia, or the inability to sleep at night
  • Narcolepsy, or inadvertent uncontrolled sleep during the day
  • Waking up in the middle of the night short of breath or with a feeling of choking
  • Morning headaches
  • Choking or snorting noises during the night

The symptoms of sleep apnea may occur in any patient, though they are more likely to occur in men over the age of forty. One of the main factors in the development of sleep apnea is a family history of sleep apnea, which means that early testing for the children of sleep apnea sufferers is crucial. Proper treatment can help these children to avoid the possible developmental problems or negative long- term effects that may be caused by untreated sleep apnea. Additional risk factors may include smoking, drinking alcohol, obesity or sedative use.

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