Approximately 30 million people in the US have sleep apnea, but only 6 million are diagnosed. Some people are unaware that they’re having issues with breathing while they sleep. If you don’t feel well-rested after getting the recommended hours of sleep, then you might have this health condition.
Other warning signs are:
- Waking up from gasping for air
- Loud snoring
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Waking up with a headache
1. Wear a Mouth Device for Sleep Apnea
Mandibular advancement devices bring your jaw forward to open your airway. This method is especially helpful for those who have a lower jaw that doesn’t sit as far forward as it should. We offer sleep apnea mouthpieces in Santa Cruz. Schedule an appointment.
Custom-made mouthpieces are the most effective because each person has a unique set of teeth. An improper fit may not work. Oral appliances also stiffen the muscles in your upper airway and the back of your throat to prevent your airway from collapsing.
The custom devices we offer should last at least 3-5 years and come with a warranty, whereas temporary devices last months, if not weeks. They are often made with 3D printing or milling technology off of digital scans of your teeth. Gone are the days we had to take manual impressions using dental putty.
Custom devices are titratable to a fraction of millimeter to determine the most effective position, where temporary devices are not. This also reduces risk of side effects.
Custom devices allow patients to open/close their mouth whereas temporary devices do not allow a patient to open their mouth, and force the jaw in just one closed position.
Custom devices are FDA approved medical devices with insurance reimbursement, temporary devices are not.
Treatment with custom devices is monitored by a doctor, which is usually never the case with temporary devices.
Custom devices also prevent damage to the teeth from clenching and grinding, thus eliminating the need for a separate nightguard.
2. Use a CPAP Machine
A CPAP device increases the air pressure in your throat to prevent your airway from closing. It can also add some humidity to the air you breathe. The humidity doesn’t go into the room but directly into the air, you’re breathing through the mask. Most masks for CPAP machines have a chin strap to hold them in place while you sleep. We offer an alternative form of sleep apnea treatment in Santa Cruz if you don’t want to wear a mask. Contact us!
3. Support Your Breathing With a BiPAP Machine
What’s the difference between a BiPAP machine and a CPAP? BiPAP machines don’t provide a constant flow of air like CPAP devices do. If you find it uncomfortable to exhale with a CPAP, then you may want to try a BiPAP.
4. Make Lifestyle Changes
Many people don’t like the thought of wearing a mask attached to a machine at night. You can try lifestyle changes first. If that doesn’t work, then you might want to combine the lifestyle changes with an oral device.
Being overweight increases your likelihood of sleep apnea because the extra fat blocks your airway. Alcohol is another culprit of breathing problems while sleeping. Some people have a congested nose, which causes sleep apnea. You could try a nasal decongestant or breathing strips.
A simple change of your sleeping position may help. Sleeping on your side makes it easier for you to breathe. Our sleep apnea treatment in Santa Cruz aims to help you overcome the issue without the need for a machine.
Difficulty breathing while you sleep could be caused by a multitude of factors from being overweight to having a jaw alignment issue. Knowing the cause helps you find the right treatment method. At Spark Sleep Solutions, we offer testing and diagnosis and sleep apnea mouthpieces in Santa Cruz. Contact us to schedule an appointment.