Sleep Apnea Treatment Combats a Silent Killer

smiling woman man looking onSleep apnea, or more specifically, obstructive sleep apnea, is a disorder that, if left untreated, is a silent killer.  The disorder itself—the collapse of our throat muscles which causes a temporary stoppage of breathing–is disturbing because it happens while we sleep. It can occur once or twice or it can happen over and over—as many as 80 times per hour. What’s most frightening is the idea that our breathing, the life-giving source of oxygen, simply stops and we’re unaware that it’s happening to us. Unfortunately, even though we don’t consciously experience obstructive sleep apnea, the effects are profoundly real and long-lasting.

Obstructive sleep apnea can for some seem fairly benign—headaches, some daytime fatigue, and a feeling you’re not getting enough sleep. But at its most damaging, if left unchecked, sleep apnea increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and early death. A 2008 study which was published in the journal Sleep determined that “sufferers of severe sleep apnea were three times as likely to die of any cause compared to those without the disease.”

Sleep apnea treatment is an effective aid

Obstructive sleep apnea affects 20 million Americans. Although it’s often thought of as mostly a man’s disorder, a Swedish study published in the European Respiratory Journal of 400 women from ages 20-70 suggests that 50% of women suffer from sleep apnea and its effects. The study found that almost half of the women tested stopped breathing for more than ten seconds at least five times an hour while they slept.

There are certainly risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea that deserve our attention. If you’re overweight (the study found that sleep apnea occurs in 84% of obese patients), have high blood pressure (80% of study participants with hypertension had the disorder), are older, or have a particular throat construction that makes you biologically disposed to apnea (large neck, small throat, large tongue, nasal or sinus condition), Dr. David Blaustein can provide an effective sleep apnea treatment in Manhattan called oral appliance therapy.

Oral appliance therapy advantages over CPAP

Sleep specialists will generally prescribe a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) regimen that involves the use of a somewhat cumbersome CPAP machine and mask setup that is intended to make an apnea patient breathe easier during the night.

Oral appliance therapy, which is prescribed by Dr. Blaustein and other qualified dentists, has been endorsed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and has been found effective in relieving sleep apnea’s damaging effects in two thirds of sufferers.

Oral appliance therapy is a comfortable and affordable

A small custom fitted mouthpiece that is worn during sleep is created in Dr. Blaustein’s office from impressions made from your teeth and then fine-tuned for maximum comfort. The mouthpiece is designed to help reposition the jaw and tongue to improve natural airflow while you sleep thus allowing an uninterrupted night in dreamland. You awake refreshed and rested rather than fatigued and agitated from lack of deep sleep.

Dr. Blaustein will then schedule a follow up within a few weeks of using the device to make sure the fit is correct and that you feel that you are truly benefiting from the therapy.

Consultations for sleep apnea treatment in NYC

To learn more about oral appliance therapy and the many cosmetic and general dentistry services offered at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics, we invite you to call 212-243-6081 to arrange a consultation with Dr. Blaustein, a respected and highly trained New York City cosmetic dentist. We offer monthly payment plans through our financial partner, Care Credit, and can help you find an affordable payment option to fit your budget. In addition, oral appliance therapy is covered by many standard insurers.

Chelsea Dental Aesthetics is located at 415 West 23rd Street #1B right in the heart of Chelsea, NYC, just minutes from Midtown West in Manhattan.

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