Sleep Apnea in Flemington NJ
At Hunterdon Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Specialists, Dr. Olumide Olawoye and our highly skilled team diagnose and provide treatment for patients with sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which your breathing unpredictably stops during sleep. The most common sleep apnea symptoms are snoring loudly and heavy fatigue after waking from a whole night’s rest. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a potentially dangerous condition and has negative consequences in your waking life.
What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?
Loud snoring is the most widely attributable characteristic of patients suffering from sleep apnea, but it is by no means the only warning sign. And, in and of itself, snoring is not a sure indication that you have sleep apnea. And not every patient with sleep apnea is a snorer.
Patients with OSA may take very shallow breaths and stop breathing when they sleep. Patients are often unaware until a partner, roommate, or parent makes it known.
What are the four symptoms of sleep apnea?
Many people, yet to become aware of their condition, think that they are doing something wrong or at fault for their fatigue. If you experience the symptoms below, schedule a consultation with Dr. Olawoye to determine if you are suffering from OSA.
1 – Noisy Sleeper
A common symptom of OSA is being a noisy sleeper. It is a big red flag if someone tells you that you were snoring, snorting, or gasping for air while sleeping – especially if it is loud enough to wake them up. The louder your snoring or snorting, the more likely you have OSA.
Snoring is common, but it doesn’t always accompany sleep apnea episodes. You are experiencing a sleep apnea episode if your snoring is interrupted by a pause in your breathing. People with OSA may experience hundreds of episodes in one night, which leads to constantly feeling fatigued.
2 – Restless Sleeper
If you regularly wake up in a pile of messy sheets, you might have OSA. Patients with OSA often are restless sleepers who toss and turn, jerk around, thrash and kick in their sleep.
3 – Constant Fatigue
OSA prevents you from getting the rest you need, even when sleeping. If you are getting a full night’s sleep but still feel tired all day long, you may be suffering the effects of OSA. When you don’t get enough sleep regularly, you become increasingly irritable, prone to illness, likely to make mistakes at work, and less productive in your life. Over time, your personality can suffer negative changes that affect your relationships and feeling of self-worth.
4 – You are at a Higher Risk for OSA
Do you fit the profile for someone at high risk of OSA? Some patients can assume that they are at higher risk just because of who they are and their lifestyle choices. Some of the risk factors for sleep apnea include:
- Excessively Overweight or Obese
- Neck with a large circumference
- Male: Men are twice to three times as likely to have OSA.
- Female after menopause
- Senior citizen
- Family history of OSA
- Drinking alcohol
- Use of tranquilizers or sedatives
- Smoking: Smokers are three times as likely to have OSA.
- Nasal congestion or obstruction
- Medical conditions, including…
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Hormonal disorder
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
Sleep Apnea Treatments
There are several effective methods for treating OSA, and the most tried-and-true is the CPAP machine. A CPAP machine is a positive airway pressure therapy that treats sleep apnea by delivering air through your nose or mouth. Positive airway pressure machines feature a tube or mask that fits over your face while you sleep.
A CPAP machine is the preferred treatment of OSA, but it is not the only option. Patients with mild cases of OSA often can get rid of their symptoms through lifestyle changes, including:
- Lose weight
- Increase physical activity
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Stop smoking
- Treat allergies with a decongestant
- Avoid sleeping on your back
- Avoid taking sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medications
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances can also treat mild or moderate sleep apnea and help you get a good night’s rest. Some of these devices work by preventing the throat from becoming blocked by your tongue. Others accomplish the same goal by moving your lower jaw forward to keep your airways open. An oral appliance therapy can also treat severe symptoms for patients who cannot use a CPAP machine.
Does insurance cover my sleep apnea treatment?
Your medical and dental insurance providers might cover some of the cost of your sleep apnea treatment. Everyone has a different provider and policy, making it impossible to provide an easy answer, but we are happy to talk with your provider to determine your coverage benefits. For example, Medicare offers coverage for a three-month trial of CPAP machines for patients with OSA. Call our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Olumide Olawoye to determine the best treatment for your sleep apnea symptoms.