Sleep apnea in Chicago is far more common than you may think. In fact, across the United States, more than 18 million Americans struggle with sleep apnea, with many cases going undiagnosed. Unfortunately, most people do not understand what sleep apnea is and write it off as snoring. 

Sure, while those who experience sleep apnea do snore, the condition can lead to several different health consequences if left untreated.  

Sleep Apnea Doesn’t Only Affect Your Sleeping Habits

The common misconception around sleep apnea is that it’s “just snoring,” and besides an unhappy partner, there are no real side effects worth worrying about. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes intermittent pauses in breathing throughout the night, causing the brain to come out of its sleep cycle to force patients to begin breathing again. 

Besides disruptive and poor-quality sleep, this condition can also increase the risk of other chronic health conditions, including:

  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure/cardiovascular disease – including higher risks of stroke 
  • Depression, anxiety and other mood disorders
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Abnormalities in glucose metabolism – leading to diabetes
  • Memory loss
  • Liver problems
  • Low blood oxygen levels
  • A decrease in sexual desire
  • Weakened immune system
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Increases the risk of death

In short, sleep apnea can affect the entire body, and without proper treatment, it can lead to irreversible damage. 

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options and CPAP Alternatives 

The good news for all those suffering from sleep apnea in the Chicago area is that there are a variety of medical and dental options available for sleep apnea treatment. 

It’s important to point out that sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a medical professional. This is usually done by completing a sleep evaluation either at home or at a designated sleep disorder center. These tests monitor your breathing and other body functions as you sleep. 

There are typically two tests that can be done:

  • Home sleep test: These tests can be done in the comfort of your own home and include wearing simple monitors that measure your blood oxygen level, heart rate, breathing, and airflow patterns. 
  • Nocturnal polysomnography: Typically done at a designated sleep center and includes being hooked up to equipment that monitors your brain, heart and lung activity, breathing patterns, body movements (such as arm and leg), and your blood oxygen levels.

Once you’ve completed your test, your doctor will then make their diagnosis and discuss your treatment options with you.

There are several different sleep apnea treatments available; however, the most common treatment is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. A CPAP machine works by delivering air pressure through a mask that is worn while you sleep. This air pressure is greater than that of the surrounding air, helping to keep your upper airway passages open.

While a CPAP machine is the most common treatment for those suffering from sleep apnea, there are a variety of CPAP alternatives to help combat sleep apnea and its many risks. 

Chicago dentist, Dr. Tom Meyer, can help you by suggesting less burdensome appliances to help keep your airway open as you sleep. These dental appliances are custom-fitted and worn at night. They work by pushing your tongue forward so that it doesn’t fall back and block the entrance to your windpipe. 

Chicago Sleep Apnea Treatment with Meyer Dental Group

Those suffering from sleep apnea in Chicago have options. Dr. Meyer works with you to create a custom plan to help you get relief from sleep apnea and a variety of other sleep disorders

If you think you’re suffering from sleep apnea or have been diagnosed by a medical professional, then schedule a sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Meyer to see how our team can help.

Do you suspect that you have sleep apnea?

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