What is Sleep Apnea?

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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) impacts tens of millions of Americans, the vast majority of whom are undiagnosed. This disorder disrupts your sleep and day-to-day health while carrying significant health risks.

Over 30 million Americans struggle with sleep apnea, with over 80% of them undiagnosed.
Oral appliance therapy offers an accessible and effective treatment.

OSA is a prevalent sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These pauses, known as apneas, can last for seconds to minutes and may occur numerous times per hour throughout the night.

Understanding risk factors, signs, and symptoms of OSA can help you understand if you are at risk of having this condition and get you closer to getting treated. Don’t let sleep apnea go unnoticed.

Our team is passionate about educating the Portland community about obstructive sleep apnea and offering accessible testing and treatment options.

Covered by Medical Insurance – We are In-Network!

Obstructive
Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea, and OSA occurs when the tongue, soft palate, and muscles of the throat relax excessively, leading to a partial or complete obstruction of the airway. This results in intermittent pauses in breathing during sleep, causing disruptions known as apneas. This leads to reduced oxygen intake and frequent awakenings, often resulting in chronic daytime fatigue, loud snoring, and an increased risk of serious health conditions. OSA not only disrupts sleep quality but also poses significant long-term health risks if left untreated.

Risk Factors of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Certain factors increase the likelihood of developing obstructive sleep apnea. If you identify with one or more of the following, it’s important to be mindful of potential sleep-related concerns:

Excess Weight:

Obesity, especially when there’s excess fat around the neck, can contribute to airway obstruction.

Age:

Sleep apnea is more common in older adults, with the risk increasing as individuals age.

Family History:

A family history of sleep apnea may elevate your risk, suggesting a potential genetic component.

Sleep Position:

Sleeping on your back may increase the likelihood of airway obstruction compared to sleeping on your side.

Smoking:

Smokers are at a higher risk due to the inflammation and fluid retention that smoking can cause in the airway.

Alcohol and Sedatives:

The use of substances that relax the muscles, such as alcohol and certain medications, can contribute to airway collapse.

Gender:

Men are generally at a higher risk for sleep apnea than women, though the risk for women rises if they are overweight, and it also increases after menopause.

Medical Conditions:

Conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and chronic lung diseases can be associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea.

Nasal Congestion:

Conditions that obstruct nasal passages, like a deviated septum or chronic nasal congestion, may increase the risk.

Symptoms of
Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea symptoms can often overlap with other health conditions, making it difficult to know if you have the condition. If you experience any of the following, it’s crucial to seek evaluation and testing for potential diagnosis:

Loud Snoring

Gasping or Choking

Daytime Fatigue

Morning Headaches
Difficulty Concentrating
Irritability

Restless Sleep

Frequent Urination at Night

Dry Mouth

Sore Throat

If you identify with these symptoms, it’s best to get evaluated by a sleep professional and take a sleep test. Testing can ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis. Early detection and treatment can significantly improve your sleep quality while reducing future health risks.

Impact of
Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea poses various risks to both your short-term well-being and long-term health. Common risks include:

Daytime Fatigue:
Persistent interruptions in sleep can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, impairing cognitive function and increasing the risk of accidents.
Cardiovascular Issues:
Untreated sleep apnea is linked to an elevated risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke due to the strain on the cardiovascular system.
Metabolic Consequences:
Sleep apnea may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Weight Gain:
The hormonal imbalances caused by sleep apnea can disrupt appetite regulation, potentially leading to weight gain.
Mood Disorders:
Sleep apnea is associated with an increased likelihood of developing mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Decreased Quality of Life:
The cumulative impact of disrupted sleep and associated health risks can significantly diminish overall quality of life.

These reasons show why obstructive sleep apnea is worth taking seriously and treating.

How We Treat
Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Our process to treat sleep apnea starts with a consultation, followed by an at-home sleep test. From there, we’ll refer you to a physician who can provide an accurate diagnosis and prescribe oral appliance therapy. We focus on an individualized approach that allows you to find a treatment that meets your personal preferences while addressing obstacles preventing you from getting the sleep you deserve. Certain insurance plans require a physician’s recommendation before the sleep test. Our office will coordinate the physician consultation and testing for you. It is best to see us first to obtain the most efficient and quickest path to treatment.

Our clinic is conveniently located in SW Portland near Washington Square Mall and serves the Portland metro area.

Call us today to schedule a consultation.

What are the long-term health risks of untreated obstructive sleep apnea?

Untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has a noticeable impact on your life, often through snoring, poor sleep, and daytime fatigue. However, untreated OSA also can and does lead to serious or even fatal health risks long-term. Some of the long-term health risks include obesity, diabetes, anxiety, and depression, cancer, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, Afib and other cardiovascular diseases. The risk of developing these serious health conditions is higher and they are more difficult to control if OSA is left untreated. OSA is treatable, and it’s best to treat the disorder as soon as possible. Our clinic works with physicians to diagnose OSA and offers a dental approach to treating OSA. Reach out today to schedule your consultation.