Millions of Americans struggle with getting the quality and quantity of sleep they need each night1. Even if you do get to bed at a reasonable time, you may not be getting the type of restful sleep that your body really needs to function properly. Some common causes for not sleeping well include depression, anxiety and conditions such as restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles and tissues that surround the throat relax, causing the airway to collapse and block airflow into the lungs. The airway seals as you try to breathe, and your brain tells your body to wake up so you can take a breath. This cycle can repeat itself more than 50 times per night which can cause many health problems including:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Mental confusion
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Morning headaches
- Sexual dysfunction
- Heart attack
If you snore or wake up gasping for air, there is a good chance you have sleep apnea. Dr. Kitzmiller will perform a comprehensive assessment that includes educating you on the symptoms and root causes of sleep apnea and sleep disorders. He will then refer you to a sleep specialist who can determine whether or not you have obstructive sleep apnea and explore the best treatment option for you.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
Traditional CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is the most common sleep apnea treatment, but it certainly has its drawbacks. Most CPAP machines are big and bulky which makes them difficult to travel with. These machines also make noise and require electricity, and the headgear can also be somewhat uncomfortable to wear while you sleep. CPAP works by applying air pressure through a tube and mask which is worn over the nose or mouth to force air through the airway.
The latest procedure for sleep apnea treatment is an oral device or appliance which can be used to treat mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea. This device does not make noise or require electricity, and can easily be stored in a small retainer case. The appliance physically moves the lower jaw forward which repositions the structures forming the airway to ensure it remains open.
There are also a number of surgical options to consider if neither of these treatments are successful. Surgery is typically the last resort and although it may be effective, it is also invasive and in most cases permanent. Dr. Kitzmiller can determine which treatment is most appropriate for your unique needs.
Timothy Kitzmiller, DDS
Dr. Kitzmiller himself is a sleep apnea sufferer and is very familiar with the problems and symptoms of sleep apnea and sleep disorders. The doctor and his caring, well-educated team have been uniquely trained in the field of Dental Sleep Medicine and in the use of Oral Appliance Therapy to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea patients near Cincinnati and Loveland, Ohio. Schedule an appointment today for your FREE initial sleep consultation.