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Sleep Apnea Treatment—Casper, WY

Your Quick Guide to Sleep Apnea

man looking tired and stressed in bed due to sleep apnea in Casper

Every morning, thousands of people in Casper wake up feeling like they never went to bed, and this is often due to sleep apnea. It’s a condition that affects about 20-22 million Americans, and it can rob someone of their rest as well as their mental and physical health. Fortunately, it is very treatable, and a proven solution can be found somewhere you might not expect…your dentist in Casper! Dr. Erin Prach is a sleep dentist, and if you think that you or a loved one might have sleep apnea, you can learn more about the disorder and what can be done about it in the short guide below.

What is Sleep Apnea?

illustrated model of adult sleep apnea

When a person has sleep apnea, they briefly but frequently stop breathing several times every night. These pauses can last for up to 10 seconds and occur up to 100 times an hour in severe cases. This forces the body to partially wake up again and again to restore normal breathing, preventing the brain from completing the full sleep cycle. The interruptions are so brief that most patients don’t remember them in the morning, but they are the reason why someone can “sleep” for 7-9 hours and still wake up feeling exhausted.

There are two main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): By far the most common, this occurs when the tissues in the mouth and throat collapse together during the night and block the airway.
  • Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): This is a neurological issue in which the body does not send the proper signal to the body to breathe during sleep.

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

man nodding off behind the wheel due to sleep apnea in Casper

Without treatment, a person with sleep apnea will experience:

  • Chronic fatigue & exhaustion
  • Increased risk for cardiovascular issues
  • Rapid weight gain/trouble with weight loss
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to focus
  • Mood swings/depression
  • Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents

Sleep apnea is primarily found in men who are 40+, but it can affect any person at any age, including children. In fact, childhood sleep apnea can often lead to restlessness and hyperactivity, which is why it is often misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

mature woman looking happy while waking up

The good news is that there are multiple treatments available for those with sleep apnea. The most popular method is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy, in which a person wears a machine to bed that pumps oxygen into the throat to keep it open. Corrective surgery is also an option, and it is often recommended for children whose sleep-breathing issues stem from large tonsils or adenoids that are narrowing the airway.

If neither of these approaches sounds appealing, then you are far from alone. That’s why Dr. Prach is happy to offer oral appliance therapy. All a patient has to do is wear a comfortable, custom-made mouthguard to bed. It slightly repositions the jaw in order to keep the airway open, allowing the patient to get the deep, restful sleep they need night after night. This will not only improve their mental and physical health, but it can also stop persistent snoring, which can be great news for the entire family!