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What is Sleep Apnea? – Austin, TX

Breathe Easier and Sleep Better

Do you experience chronic snoring? Maybe you battle daytime fatigue despite sleeping all night? Your poor sleep quality may not be the result of a bad mattress. Instead, you might be among the 22 million Americans who have a disorder called sleep apnea. It causes several pauses in breathing while you’re sleeping, which is most often the result of an obstruction in the air. Thankfully, you can get the rest you need and breathe easier with treatment for sleep apnea in Lakeway.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Model showing upper airway and sleep apnea in Lakeway.

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes several pauses in breathing frequently throughout the night. There are 3 types of the condition, but the most common form is obstructive sleep apnea. It occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the mouth and throat collapse to block the airway.

While sleep apnea produces a variety of symptoms, many people attribute them to factors that aren’t related, like stress. As a result, as much as 80% of people with the condition haven’t been diagnosed. Although the symptoms and changes to your quality of life may not seem concerning, if sleep apnea isn’t treated, you can experience potentially deadly complications, like an increased risk of heart attack.

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Woman bed after a good night’s rest.

Many people don’t realize they are experiencing pauses in breathing because they occur while you’re sleeping; however, you might have other symptoms of the disorder, such as:

  • Loud, chronic snoring
  • Waking gasping or choking for air
  • Morning headaches
  • Waking with a sore throat
  • Waking with a dry mouth
  • Persistent daytime fatigue
  • Difficult concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings or depression
  • Loss of cognitive abilities
  • Sleep deprivation

How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

Woman in bed wearing a CPAP machine.

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, your dentist in Lakeway, will perform a simple assessment to evaluate your symptoms. If you have signs of the disorder, you’ll be scheduled for a sleep study, which monitors you while you are sleeping to look for any abnormalities, like fluctuations in oxygen levels. A conclusive diagnosis can be determined using the information that’s gathered.

How is Sleep Apnea Treated?

Depending on the severity of your case and your individual preferences, we may recommend one or both treatments:

Oral Appliance

An oral appliance is a patient-preferred treatment for mild-to-moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea. It looks like an athletic mouthguard; however, it doesn’t protect your teeth. Instead, it repositions your lower jaw forward to prevent your soft tissues from collapsing and blocking your airway.

CPAP Machine

The most traditional treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine. A mask worn over the mouth or nose delivers a steady stream of air to keep the airways open. It can be used alone or along with an oral appliance.

Breathe Better Today

If your quality of life is suffering because you’re not getting the rest you need, it’s time to see if you have sleep apnea. We have the personalized treatment you need to breathe easier. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation for sleep apnea therapy.