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What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can be a severe condition in which breathing is interrupted dozens of time while sleeping. It can be a difficult condition to diagnose, especially if you sleep alone, however, if you have been told you snore loudly or wake up tired after a good night’s sleep, you could have sleep apnea. Our doctors at Thiells Dentist - Michael Bleyzer, DDS, provide different treatment options to treat this potentially dangerous disease.

Learn more about oral appliances for sleep apnea

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is loud snoring which can disturb you and your sleep partner. Not everyone who snores suffers from sleep apnea, but in most cases, those with the condition snore. Other signs include:
•  Breathing is interrupted more than once while sleeping
•  Waking suddenly from lack of breath
•  Dry mouth
•  Headaches especially in the mornings
•  Difficulty sleeping all night
•  Sleepiness during the day
•  Lack of concentration
•  Irritability
•  Moodiness
•  Tiredness

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three most common types of sleep apnea:
•  Obstructive sleep apnea: This is the most common type of this condition and happens when the muscles in the throat relax.
•  Central sleep apnea: This type of sleep apnea occurs when the communications between the brain and the muscles that control breathing are not working correctly.
•  Treatment-emergent central sleep apnea: Is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the muscles in the back of the throat relax or fall. When this happens, it causes the airways to close and prevents normal breathing. This type of sleep apnea also results in lower oxygen levels in the blood. In this case, the brain usually wakes you up, and breathing is restored.

When you have central sleep apnea, the brain is not alerted when there’s an interruption in breathing, which is more dangerous than obstructive sleep apnea. You may still wake up startled due to shortness of breath.

Risks for Sleep Apnea

Some people are at a higher risk for sleep apnea than others. Those people with the following conditions should be extra vigilant:
•  Overweight
•  Narrow airways
•  Gender
•  Age (sleep apnea is more common in older men)
•  Excessive use of alcohol
•  Smoking
•  Using certain narcotics
•  Cardiovascular disease

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

To diagnose sleep apnea, we usually send our patients to a sleep center. This often requires an overnight stay in which you are hooked up to a machine that monitors your sleep patterns and vital signs. If the results from this test come back positive, we will start you on a treatment plan.

The most common treatment option is a CPAP machine, which opens your airways and allows you to breathe normally at night. There are other airway pressure devices and oral appliances we can try if you are not able to get used to the CPAP machine. In cases where the condition is severe, surgery may be the only option.

If you are concerned that you may have sleep apnea, please let Thiells Dentist - Michael Bleyzer, DDS at (845) 429-8060 today.
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Theills Dentist - Michael Bleyzer, DDS

(845) 429-8060
14 Thiells Mt Ivy Rd
Pomona, NY 10970-3038
Right off of Exit 13 Palisades Parkway


Mon: 10am–7pm
Tues: 10am–6pm
Wed: 8am–5pm
Thurs: 10am–6pm
Saturday: 9am–3pm
Additional hours may be available by appointment

Serving entire Rockland County New York: Pomona, Suffern, Valley Cottage, New City, Congers, North Rockland Towns of Thiells, Stony Point, Garnerville, Haverstraw and West Haverstraw, and Tomkins Cove.

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