Get Great Sleep Again in 5 Easy Steps

  • Take Our Sleep Apnea Risk Assessment

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is a proven way to screen for high risk. Our online version makes it easy to see if you’re at high risk. 

  • Schedule a Consultation

If you are at risk for a sleep disorder, getting tested and knowing for sure is essential. We’ll help you order a sleep test to diagnose your condition. 

  • Take a Sleep Test

Most people can take a home sleep test. It’s more convenient, less expensive, and highly accurate. 

  • Understand Your Treatment Options

Once we have the results from your sleep test, we can help you understand your treatment options. 

  • Sleep Soundly with Your Chosen Treatment

Multiple sleep apnea treatments are effective. If you pick one that is comfortable, convenient, and easy to use, you’ll get healthy, restorative sleep. 

Common Symptoms

Estimates show that 80% or more of sleep apnea cases are undiagnosed. Because it happens during sleep, you might not notice apnea itself. However, there are many common symptoms you should watch out for, such as:

  • Waking up unrested
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue or sleepiness during the day
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Inability to focus
  • Memory difficulties
  • Depression, irritability, or mood swings
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Snoring

If you notice these symptoms, you should speak to your general or sleep doctor about your risk. 

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

The only way to diagnose sleep apnea is with a sleep test. For many people, this is a simple take-home device that you wear while sleeping. You may have to wear it several nights to collect enough data for a diagnosis, but you get to sleep in your bed. We offer ApneaLink home testing for sleep apnea. It’s comfortable, convenient, and easy to use.

In other cases, diagnosis requires a sleep study in a sleep lab, where you are hooked up to a complex device that measures many aspects of your sleep and can tell whether your breathing is stopping during sleep.

sleep apnea diagram

Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is associated with many severe health conditions that can shorten your lifespan. Some of the health issues commonly linked include:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Insomnia
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • Suicide
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Cancer

When your brain senses your oxygen supply is low, it tells your heart to work faster. This leads to high blood pressure at night and eventually interferes with your body’s ability to regulate the sympathetic nervous system, triggering elevated blood pressure throughout the day. It also hurts the heart, causing heart disease and, eventually, heart failure. High blood pressure can dislodge plaque in the arteries, leading to stroke.

At night, your brain performs essential tasks for regulating your body’s energy consumption and storage. Sleep apnea interferes with them, causing your body to store more fat, which contributes to obesity and makes your body immune to insulin, causing type 2 diabetes.

Many people who have what is known as “maintenance insomnia”–waking up at night–have sleep apnea. Whether you’re aware of waking up or not, losing sleep significantly impairs your brain’s ability to function correctly. You may become prone to depression and other mood disorders. People also have an elevated risk of suicide. You may lose short-term memory and may lose interest in sex or other things you previously enjoyed.

The link with cancer is more tenuous. Some studies show a strong link, while other studies show little connection between cancer. However, it is likely that a body weakened by sleep apnea may have difficulty fighting cancer and may have additional risks related to the demanding treatments cancer requires.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are two types to know – Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea. OSA, the most common form, results from a blockage in your air passage. This blockage is caused by a collapse in the soft tissue at the back of your throat. The tongue is a common cause of this collapse.

In CSA, your brain and central nervous system don’t function properly. They fail to tell your body to breathe. No blockage of airways exists in CSA. It is more of a respiratory malfunction. People suffering from CSA can experience stoppages in breathing of up to 2 minutes, which can severely impact the amount of oxygen going to your brain and heart.

It’s possible to have both types, and sometimes, this is described as complex sleep apnea syndrome (CompSAS). When people develop CSA after treating OSA with CPAP, doctors often call it treatment-emergent central sleep apnea (TECSA).

Treating Sleep Apnea

The gold standard for sleep apnea treatment is CPAP, which is continuous positive airway pressure. This device consists of a mask you wear on your face, an air pump, and a hose that connects the two. The pump forces air into your nose and/or mouth to open your airway with pressure. The treatment is highly effective when it’s used correctly, but many people find it uncomfortable and, therefore, don’t wear it as much as they should, so they continue to have health problems.

Another option for treatment is oral appliance therapy. We offer the very comfortable SomnoMed MAS. The device is highly customizable, which helps it become comfortable and effective for all types of patients. In general, oral appliances are recommended for people with mild or moderate sleep apnea, but people with a severe level can benefit if they are unable to tolerate CPAP.

Surgery is not generally recommended, although some people can benefit, and it can work well in conjunction with other types of treatment.

Prosomnus IA - CPAP Alternative for sleep apnea treatment
ProSomnusCA - CPAP Alternative for sleep apnea treatment

What Treatment Is Right for Your Sleep Apnea?

If you are trying to find the best treatments for you, we can help. Please call (248) 656-2020 or email for an appointment with a Rochester sleep dentist at Rochester Advanced Dentistry.