Snoring man

Sleep Apnea

How sleep apnea treatment in Pflugerville, TX can improve your health and quality of life

There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to rejuvenate your mind and body, leaving you refreshed and ready for anything the day might bring. Sadly, for many people in Pflugerville, TX that sounds more like a fairy tale than a nightly reality. Instead, they awaken feeling tired and groggy, preparing to struggle through another day of brain fog and exhaustion. If you are among them, you could be suffering from a serious condition called sleep apnea. The good news is that treatment is available, right here at Elite Smiles of Pflugerville.

Understanding apnea

The negative impacts of apnea are many, but the easily identifiable symptoms (aside from snoring) are few. You might have morning headaches, insomnia, or daytime sleepiness, but you probably attribute these things to simply not sleeping well. Most apnea sufferers have no idea that the reason they aren’t sleeping well is that they aren’t breathing continuously through the night.

What exactly is going on while an apneic person is sleeping? As the mind relaxes, so does the body. It begins with mild relaxation during the initial light phases of sleep. Then the person slips into deeper sleep, which is essential for mental and physical rejuvenation. When this happens, muscles enter an ultra-relaxed state, causing soft tissues around the airway to sag. If the airway is small or already crowded, the sagging can obstruct it completely. The person stops breathing, triggering an unconscious panic reaction in the brain. As the individual starts to wake up, deep sleep transitions to lighter sleep, and muscles become tauter. Breathing resumes, usually along with choking, gasping, and loud snoring. Since the emergency has passed, the brain stops sending panic signals, and the individual falls back into deeper sleep.

Symptoms and risks associated with apnea

The above described cycle can occur hundreds of times every night, yet the person is never awake enough to know what is going on. Not only does it deprive one of essential restful deep sleep, but also cumulative oxygen deprivation and ensuing physical reactions take a toll. The impacts can include:

  • Frequent morning headaches
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Increased risk of traffic accidents due to not being alert
  • Increased risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and other serious medical conditions

Seeking sleep apnea cures

In most cases the underlying cause is the airway anatomy, which may not be correctable. However, sleep apnea can be stopped with a treatment that ensures continuous uninterrupted breathing through the night. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is the most commonly prescribed medical treatment, but it requires a large, noisy machine pumping air into the lungs via tubes and a mask. Unable to tolerate the discomfort and inconvenience, many apnea patients seek CPAP alternatives – and find relief with oral appliances.

An apnea oral appliance is similar to a mouth guard. It is small, lightweight, convenient, and comfortable to wear. This therapy works on the simple concept of supporting the oral structure, preventing airway collapse, and allowing the patient to breathe normally and sleep soundly.

Sleep well, be well

If you think that you might have apnea, or if you have been diagnosed and are looking for CPAP alternatives, visit Dr. Tucker. Just call Elite Smiles of Pflugerville at (512) 273-7790 to schedule.

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