Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea does more than rob you of sleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea can contribute to major mental and physical health problems.
Thanks to advances in dental sleep medicine, a variety of treatment options are available to people who suffer from sleep apnea.
Learn how Dr. Jeffrey M. Dolgos helps patients at his Buffalo, NY, practice achieve better overall health through sleep apnea treatment...
Treating Sleep Apnea Can Change Your Life
No More Daytime Sleepiness
If you are living with sleep apnea, you know how tired you can be during the day. Excessive daytime sleepiness contributes to impaired concentration, low energy, poor memory, and increased risk of auto accidents. A full night's rest with the help of sleep apnea treatment can help you sleep through the night and seize each day.
Relief for You and Your Partner
Obstructive sleep apnea leads to chronic snoring, fitful sleep, and regularly waking up. All of these symptoms affect not only you, but also everyone in your house, especially your bed partner. Treatment for your sleep disorder can be a great gift to your loved ones.
Reduced Health Risks
You may think that your sleep apnea is annoying, but harmless. This is far from the truth. Sleep apnea is linked with serious health concerns like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Seeking treatment for your sleep apnea can reduce these risks.
His Treatment Plans Work
"I am so happy to have my daughter and my mom coming here. Dr Dolgos and his staff are super nice and professional. It's like a family there and you're part of it....and the best thing...his treatment plans work!!!!!!" Tina B.
Sleep Apnea Basics
Sleep apnea describes a sleep disorder in which your breathing stops repeatedly during sleep. There are two forms of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is an extremely rare disorder in which the brain fails to signal the body's muscles to breathe during sleep. Central sleep apnea is a very serious condition that requires the attention of a specialist.
The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, in which excess tissue in the back of the throat constricts or blocks the upper airway. It is a common sleep disorder, affecting over 18 million American adults.
Because obstructive sleep apnea is caused by restricted airflow, treatment plans focus on opening up the upper airway during sleep. Common treatment options are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices or oral appliances. In rare instances, surgery can be an option to remove the tissue causing the restriction.
Risk factors for sleep apnea include:
- Being overweight
- Habitual consumption of alcohol
- Large tonsils
- A family history of sleep apnea
The most recognizable symptom of obstructive sleep apnea is chronic snoring. Other symptoms include chronic fatigue, mood swings, sore jaw muscles, and headaches.
Have You Been Diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, you should not wait to seek help.
Better rest and better quality of life are within reach through treatment at Buffalo TMJ in Orchard Park, NY. Call the office today at (716) 675-5858 or contact us online to schedule a sleep apnea consultation.
Diagnosing Sleep Disorders
If you think you may have sleep apnea, your first step should be to consult with your physician. Provide as much detail as possible regarding your symptoms. It will likely be helpful to have your bed partner also provide information on snoring, pauses between your breaths, and any other indicators you might be unaware of.
If your doctor suspects you have a sleep disorder, they will likely prescribe some kind of sleep study. In many cases, this involves spending the night at a sleep disorder center where physicians specializing in sleep medicine can monitor your heart rate, brain waves, lung activity, and other factors relevant to your sleep. The doctors at the sleep medicine center can share that data with your doctor. Alternatively, some doctors may provide the option of a home sleep study using a portable, doctor-provided device to collect the necessary data.
After reviewing the results of the sleep study, your doctor or another specialist from the sleep medicine center will be able to determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, or some other sleep disorder.
If your diagnosis is obstructive sleep apnea, now is a good time to schedule a sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Dolgos at Buffalo TMJ in Orchard Park, NY. If you have not been diagnosed, we can also provide an initial screening.
Options for Treating Sleep Apnea
There are many treatment options available to those living with sleep apnea. In a sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Dolgos, he will be able to determine which option or combination of options is the right choice for you.
Is CPAP Too Difficult for You?
If every night is a struggle with your CPAP device, it might be time to consider an alternative. Custom-made oral appliances designed by dental sleep medicine experts like Dr. Dolgos can clear your restricted airflow with no noise, no power, and no embarrassment.
Contact Dr. Dolgos online or call Buffalo TMJ in Orchard Park, NY, today at (716) 675-5858 to learn more about oral appliance therapy.
Hear What Our Patients Are Saying
"I was so pleased with the entire office staff. Dr. Dolgos was very informative about my dental care options." Tanito L.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices are commonly prescribed to treat patients with obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP devices work by supplying a constant flow of pressurized air through a mask placed on the sleeper's mouth or nose in order to keep the airway open. CPAP devices are highly effective, but many users consider them to be bulky, uncomfortable, and otherwise cumbersome. Because of this, many people prefer oral appliance therapy to CPAP.
Another common treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea is the use of custom-made oral appliances. These oral appliances can be used to push the jaw forward during sleep, creating more space in the airway. The least invasive treatment option available, patients at Buffalo TMJ tend to prefer oral appliances because they are easy to use, easy to transport, and they provide great results. In some cases, you might find the best results from combining CPAP with an oral appliance.
There are several oral appliances on the market today advertised as sleep apnea devices. Dr. Dolgos has experience with many of them, but his favorite is the Elastic Mandibular Advancement (EMA®) appliance. Dr. Dolgos is a certified EMA lab technician, and he makes all of his patients' appliances himself in his lab at Buffalo TMJ. This personal craftsmanship allows him to customize each appliance to each patient's unique structural and functional requirements.
In rare cases of extreme obstructive sleep apnea, the best course of action may be surgery to improve airflow. Usually, this would involve an operation to remove the tonsils or other tissue from the throat or mouth that causes the blockage, but in some cases it may involve repositioning the jaw. Surgery should be considered a last option after other treatment options at Buffalo TMJ have already been exhausted.
Sleep Apnea Treatment with Dr. Dolgos
Dr. Dolgos at Buffalo TMJ in Orchard Park, NY, cares deeply about treating the health of the whole patient. The body is not a collection of isolated elements, but one system in which every part is dependent on the others. This is evident in the case of obstructive sleep apnea, as excess tissue in the throat or an imperfect jaw can lead to such varied health concerns as high blood pressure, diabetes, and erectile dysfunction. Dr. Dolgos loves treating jaw problems because the jaw is a joint that is critical to your overall wellbeing.
When you schedule a sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Dolgos, you can trust that he will recommend the best treatment for your condition. Because of his expertise in crafting custom-made oral devices, Dr. Dolgos is especially popular with patients who have tried CPAP devices and cannot tolerate them.
After your consultation at Buffalo TMJ, Dr. Dolgos may send you home with a Medibyte system to screen and monitor your airway management. This simple, take-home kit gives a fairly comprehensive set of data about your sleep breathing effectiveness, including:
- Blood oxygen concentration
- Chest and abdominal effort
- Sleep noises
Many patients find this option preferable to spending the night in a sleep center. Dr. Dolgos can use the data he collects from the Medibyte system in conjunction with his observation of your jaw to determine how to best treat your sleep apnea, whether that's through oral appliance therapy alone, a combination of CPAP and oral device therapy, or some other routine.
I Couldn't Be Happier!
"I kept waking up with severe headaches and was diagnosed with TMJ. My primary doctor recommended Dr. Dolgos and I could not be happier. After following his TMJ program, my headaches are gone!" Joanie M.
Lifestyle Changes & Other Considerations
Being overweight is one of the most significant risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea. Even minimal weight loss can relieve the restriction of your airflow during the night. Consider a change in diet and getting more exercise to aid with your weight loss.
Reduce Drinking and Smoking
Studies show that habitual drinking and smoking can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea. Patients at Buffalo TMJ should cut back on these habits to achieve better rest.
Play the Didgeridoo
Believe it or not, playing this ancient, aboriginal instrument could help open up your airway. One study indicated that the circular breathing technique required to play the didgeridoo can strengthen your throat, improving airflow while you sleep. This is one of Dr. Dolgos's favorite and simplest prescriptions.
As an advocate for treating the health of the whole body, Dr. Dolgos recommends a routine of breathing exercises to train the body to breathe better. In his words, "The most critical element to keep your body alive is regular breathing, balancing inhalation and exhalation, with efficient exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide through your lungs. The most effective way to keep clean air flowing into your lungs is to breathe deeply, smoothly, and rhythmically throughout the day and night, while awake, and while asleep."
Dr. Dolgos encourages his patients who suffer from restricted airflow to engage in a simple exercise. Sit in a comfortable position, upright, and relax your shoulders. Take a deep breath, and allow your body to relax on the exhale. Now focus on breathing only through your nose for two minutes. If you have to breathe through your mouth a little, that’s ok, but really try to only breathe through your nose, calmly and slowly. In and out. See if you notice any difference in the ease with which air passes through your nasal passages. If you notice a difference, then it is likely that you could make a significant improvement in your well-being by simply practicing taking breaths through your nose for 20 minutes or so, twice per day.