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What is Sleep Apnea?


Woman covering ears while husband snoresSleep apnea is a serious medical condition that affects your sleep. This sleep disorder causes you to repeatedly stop and start breathing. There are several ways to detect if you suffer from sleep apnea, though most may require someone to observe your sleep patterns. These signs include heavy snoring, your breathing completely stopping, feeling exhausted immediately after you wake up for the day, difficulty falling asleep, gasping for air during your sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, dry mouth in the morning or a morning headache. If you need help identifying your sleep apnea, Stansell Dentistry Associates can offer you a solution.

Different Types of Sleep Apnea


There are three types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea and involves the throat muscles relaxing too much while you sleep. When your throat muscle relaxes, it causes your airways to either narrow or completely close when you inhale. Your body cannot get enough oxygen, which causes your brain to wake you up from your sleep to reopen the airways. This can result in gasping, choking or snorting excessively during the night. If you are an older male, there is a higher possibility of having obstructive sleep apnea. Other risk factors include using muscle relaxers, and alcohols can worsen or cause this type of sleep apnea as well.

Central sleep apnea is the second type of sleep apnea. It is less common among sleep apnea sufferers but can be just as taxing on your body. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain cannot transmit signals to the muscles used for breathing. This can leave you short of period, make it difficult to get to sleep, and make it difficult to stay asleep. Older men are more prone to central sleep apnea. People with heart disorders or who have recently suffered a stroke may also have central sleep apnea.

How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?


Detecting sleep apnea is difficult and requires that you go to a sleep disorder center to be further evaluated. You will be hooked up to nocturnal polysomnography, which monitors your lungs, arm, and leg movements, brain activity, breathing patterns, and blood oxygen levels. This is necessary to get proper results to see how you function while you sleep.

Your doctor may also provide you with a home sleep test. This is like nocturnal polysomnography that also measures your heart rate, airflow, blood oxygen levels, and breathing patterns. It is important to follow the doctors’ orders if you decide to do a home sleep test. Improper results may hinder your ability to get the results you want.

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea


There are several treatment options available for sufferers of sleep apnea. If you suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea, your doctor might recommend a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) that helps to open your upper airway passages. This will help you sleep better at night, prevent snoring, and treat your sleep apnea. Other machines work similarly including the auto-CPAP and the bilevel positive airway pressure system (BPAP). Oral appliances open your throat and bring your jaw forward. While not as effective as a CPAP, it may be easier for you to use it.

Finding a solution for sleep apnea is not easy. However, there are several methods of detection, and treatments available to help you overcome it. Call Stansell Dentistry Associates at 984-477-0177 today to schedule an appointment to get your sleep apnea treated.

Locations & Hours


Brier Creek




10207 Cerny Street, Ste 106
Raleigh, NC 27617

Phone: 984-477-0177
Fax: 919-249-1375

Office Hours
Mon: 8:30am - 6:30pm
Tues: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wed: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thur: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Fri: 8:00am - 2:00pm

North Raleigh




1911 Falls Valley Drive, Ste 107
Raleigh, NC 27615

Phone: 984-206-4242
Fax: 919-249-2145

Office Hours
Mon: 8:30am - 6:30pm
Tues: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wed: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thur: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Fri: 8:00am - 2:00pm

Knightdale




1101 Great Falls Ct, Ste 102
Knightdale, NC 27545

Phone: 984-733-0330
Fax: 919-415-1849

Office Hours
Mon: 8:30am - 6:30pm
Tues: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wed: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thur: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Fri: 8:00am - 2:00pm

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Stansell Dentistry Associates, 10207 Cerny Street, Ste 106, Raleigh, NC 27617-4879 • 984-477-0177 • stanselldentistry.com • 7/20/2021 • Related Phrases: dentist Raleigh NC • dentist Raleigh NC •