Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Improve the quality of your sleep—and your life—with sleep apnea treatment from Dr. Thomas Roberts in Seattle, WA.

Did you know that nearly 12 million people in America are affected by sleep apnea? You may be one of them if you are drowsy during the day with no explanation, snore loudly, or wake up breathless in the middle of the night.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing stops periodically during sleep, as many as 20-30 times per hour. Each time you stop breathing in your sleep, the resulting lack of oxygen alerts your brain, which temporarily wakes you up to restart proper breathing. The constant wake-sleep, wake-sleep cycle prevents you from achieving deep sleep, resulting in a constant drowsy feeling during the day.

Types of Sleep Apnea

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs due to a physical blockage, usually the collapsing of the soft tissue in the back of the throat. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in males than females, and more common in older adults (40+) than younger adults and children.
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when breathing stops because the muscles involved don't receive the proper signal from the brain. Central sleep apnea strikes most often in people with heart disorders, neuromuscular disorders, strokes, or brain tumors.
  • Mixed/complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Signs and Symptoms

The tricky thing about sleep apnea is that you may not even know you have it, as the time spent awake to re-start breathing is very brief. If you notice any of the following symptoms of sleep apnea, be sure to contact our Seattle dental office to schedule an appointment.

  • Extreme drowsiness throughout the day
  • Falling asleep unintentionally during the day
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Loud snoring at night
  • Waking up at night short of breath
  • Snorting or choking sounds during the night (indicating a restart of breathing)
  • Headaches upon waking in the morning

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Seattle, WA

For mild to moderate sleep apnea, Dr. Roberts may suggest using a simple dental sleep device to shift the jaw forward to open and maintain the airway. We have found this treatment to be very effective, with a success rate of 80%-85%. For severe sleep apnea, you may need to use a CPAP device, which uses positive air pressure to keep your airway open.

During your consultation with Dr. Roberts at our Seattle dental office, you will learn about the type of sleep apnea you have, its severity, and what treatment options will best alleviate your symptoms.

Getting Started with Treatment

Getting started is as easy as contacting our Seattle dental practice today. We can refer you to a local sleep apnea medical specialist or work closely with your referring physician to ensure the treatment is successful. A good night’s sleep is the key to good health and a productive day. Let us help you achived this today!