Tag Archives: Newton MA Sleep Apnea

Do I Need Allergy or Sleep Apnea Treatment?

I saw my primary care doctor and he wanted me to have a sleep study done and possibly get sleep apnea treatment. I told him it was just my allergies keeping me up at night, but he kept pushing the study. I really don’t want to do it. There’s no way I’m going to be able to sleep with one of those masks on my face every night. I really just want to find a medication that can help me manage my allergy symptoms better. Should I see an allergist instead or do I actually have to go through with the study?

Thanks,

Ryan

Dear Ryan,

Interestingly, there’s a chance you’re both correct. It sounds like your doctor suspects you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is most common form of sleep apnea. If your upper airway becomes obstructed and you try to breathe in, your airway essentially collapses in on itself as you struggle to pull air into your lungs. The lack of oxygen is a problem for obvious reasons, but the process can actually wake you up repeatedly throughout the night. These disruptions destroy the quality of rest you get, and lead to grogginess during the day. Some studies have shown that those who suffer from OSA are more dangerous than drunk-drivers behind the wheel.

There are studies that link OSA to allergies as well.  It’s believed that allergic rhinitis or hay fever causes the tissues to become irritated and swell. This gives the air less space to pass through, which then presents itself as OSA.

It’s certainly a good idea to treat your allergies. Even if they aren’t causing your OSA, they’re probably making you miserable and giving you other issues. The good news is that if you do need sleep apnea treatment as well, you may not need to wear a mask. Mild cases can be treated by a simple appliance, similar to a mouth guard, that your dentist can make. It’s a good idea to bring your dentist on board regardless, because allergy meds tend to cause dry mouth, which can lead to dental problems. Your dentist can help address this, too, so that you can manage it before it has a chance to cause damage to your teeth and gums.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Does sleep apnea make you tired?

I’ve been tired a lot lately.  I wake up tired, even when I sleep a full night.  My doctor has checked my thyroid, my blood pressure, my vitamin D levels. Nothing has panned out.  A friend said it could be sleep apnea.  Can that make you tired? If it is sleep apnea, will I have to wear one of those Darth Vader masks?

Andrea M. – San Diego

Andrea,

Your friend could be right.  When you have sleep apnea, you actually wake up many times a night without realizing it because you stop breathing.  Not only is it disruptive to your rest, but it is also dangerous.

If you see a dentist who treats sleep apnea they can help you.  The solution may be as simple as wearing an oral appliance (which resembles a sports mouthguard). There are many things your dentist can use to solve your sleep apnea problem without forcing you to use a CPAP (the Darth Vader machine).

This blog is brought to you by Newton MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Don’t want to snore in front of my boyfriend

My boyfriend and I are going on our first over night trip.  It will also be the first time we’ve spent the night together. Here’s the thing…I am a horrible snorer.  I really like this guy and don’t want to scare him away too quickly.  Is there anything I can do about the snoring?

Sally B. – New Orleans

Sally,

It’s likely the cause of your snoring is sleep apnea.  It has to do with the muscles in the back of your throat.  You’re probably tired all the time too, even after a full night’s sleep.

A dentist with experience diagnosing and treating sleep apnea can make you a custom fitted orthotic. Don’t worry–it’s discreet. This will stop your snoring.  I don’t know how soon your trip is, but if you get in right away and tell your dentist when you’re leaving, he or she may be able to rush the process for you.

You’ll probably find you have more energy with the device too.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

 

If my husband doesn’t stop snoring, I may kill him.

I don’t know what to do. I can’t get another sleepless night. I’ve heard dental problems can cause snoring. Is there anything that can be done to stop it?

Elle M. – Connecticut

Elle,

It’s likely your husband has sleep apnea. The snoring is caused by the way the muscles in his throat relax when he’s asleep. When the airway is partially blocked, it leads to snoring, when it is completely blocked it is sleep apnea.

Sometimes your medical insurance will pay for at least a portion of a sleep study so you can find out what is going on with him.  If it is sleep apnea it can be treated. It’s important to note that this is something that does require treatment. It can negatively impact his health, sometimes with serious consequences.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.