Apnea is a chronic sleeping disorder affecting millions of Americans. It is estimated that over half of all sleep apnea cases are undiagnosed, and over half of those diagnosed are not compliant with treatment. Increasingly, patients concerned about apnea are turning to specially trained dentists such as Dr. Clint Bruyere, of Longview TX.
Official diagnosis of apnea requires a sleep study, which we can help you arrange. It is usually performed in your home with an ambulatory device that records data while you sleep. A certified sleep physician will evaluate the results to determine if you have apnea. If you are diagnosed with apnea, you have several treatment options.
CPAP (Continues Positive Air Pressure) is the traditional medical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP is a large machine that generates air pressure. The air is forced into your lungs via tubes connected to a mask. Air pressure acts as a splint, keeping your airway open while you sleep. Despite the effectiveness of this treatment, many patients are unable to tolerate it long-term.
One of the most common complains about CPAP is the noise and size of the machine. Many patients say it is inconvenient at home, and make travel virtually impossible. The masks are often irritating, and may be intolerable for those with claustrophobia or allergies. Additionally, the air temperature and humidity can be difficult to control.
Oral appliance therapy is revolutionizing apnea treatment. Instead of a cumbersome machine, patients are finding relief with a small, lightweight appliance. They keep your airway open by providing support, rather than with air pressure. There are several styles of appliances available to address the individual needs of each patient. Most are designed to reposition the jaw, opening the airway gently and naturally.
If you or someone in your household has ever used a CPAP machine, you will appreciate the convenience of a treatment option that will fit in your pocket! Oral appliances are comfortable, portable, and most allow you to speak or drink water without even removing your appliance. If you are looking for an alternative to CPAP, call (903) 708-6116 today and schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruyere.