If you can’t sleep because your spouse struggles with snoring or sleep apnea, you are not alone. Many of our patients complain about this problem and want to know if we can do anything to help. The answer depends, in part, on how frequent or severe the problem is. It’s normal to snore from time to time. They may have a cold or a sinus infection that is creating the issue. If, however, it is happening on a regular basis and making you both miserable, they may have a more serious condition.
As a dentist, we treat patients that struggle with this and help them to breathe better overall. If you are having difficulty sleeping, imagine how your spouse feels. Even if they sleep through it, they are probably not getting enough oxygen at night which can make them feel tired during the day. Sleep apnea can have a similar effect as someone living with asthma except that it often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Some people with severe sleep apnea find that they cannot even stay awake as the day goes on. This is a major condition, and we can help to solve it.
When it comes to snoring and sleep apnea, we must first identify what the issue is so that we can recommend the right treatment. This will often involve performing a sleep study so that we can monitor our patients’ breathing levels throughout the night along with any other activity. This can be done at home or a sleep clinic. Once we have the results, we can move forward with treatment.
A common cause of both issues is the jaw falling backwards while sleeping. We fit our patients with a removable device that can be worn at night in order to hold the jaw in place so that it cannot move, but patients can still feel comfortable enough to sleep. There are a wide variety of devices on the market so we are sure to find one that will work and have the perfect fit. They can look similar to a retainer, but the upper and lower portions are attached to each other.
For severe cases of sleep apnea, your spouse may need to use a breathing machine at night. We recommend trying a device to hold their jaw in place first since it is easier to wear and more portable. If that is not enough, they may need to use a breathing machine only or in conjunction with the device we have provided. As with many medical conditions, it might take trying several things before the perfect solution is found. We can work with you and your spouse to make sure that in the end, everyone is breathing like they should and the snoring and sleep apnea is under control. This will help both of you to have more energy and feel rested in the morning, instead of waking up exhausted. To learn more, call and schedule an appointment.