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Sleep Apnea FAQ

Sleep apnea occurs when someone stops breathing while they are asleep. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. This is when the airway is closed off while sleeping.
Approximately 25 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can cause them to stop breathing hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute.
Common signs of sleep apnea include snoring and gasping or choking sounds during sleep. Like snoring, sleep apnea is more common in men, but it can occur in women too, especially during and after menopause.
Negative side effects include risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and erectile dysfunction.
In most cases, you won't know that you stop breathing while sleeping. Some people will wake up suddenly after seeming to sleep peacefully. This is sometimes a sign that you haven't been breathing.
If any of the signs and symptoms are present, then you need to make an appointment with a doctor. The doctor can conduct breathing tests to determine if there are any issues physically. If the doctor notices any signs of sleep apnea, then a sleep study can be done to determine what might be triggering the condition.
Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. An oral appliance is worn in the mouth only while you sleep and fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. Oral appliances support your jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway.
Many patients consider a sleep apnea appliance to be more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. Oral appliances also are quiet, portable and easy to care for.
Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans.
In most situations, the condition won't go away on its own. Some form of treatment will be needed in order to make the symptoms go away.

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