Frequently Asked Sleep Disorder Questions – Frisco, TX

Our Experts Answer Your Sleep Questions

At Star Sleep & Wellness in Frisco, we know you have many questions about sleep disorders. What they are, how they form, what symptoms they include, and how treatment works are just some of the basics, but our team believes in going further. We don’t want our patients to feel uninformed about their care, which is why we are here to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about sleep disorders. We hope that the following information will allow you to feel more confident and comfortable choosing us to care for your overall health and well-being.

Sleep Apnea

What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

OSA is the most common form of sleep apnea that causes a person to stop breathing while asleep. When the soft oral tissues in the throat collapse onto the airway, it creates a blockage that can lead to a person gasping for air when waking. This can happen once or hundreds of times each night.

What common symptoms are associated with sleep apnea?

Chronic fatigue, moodiness, inability to focus, loss of libido, acid reflux, depression, frequent nighttime urination, morning headaches, loud snoring, and gasping for air throughout the night are just some of the most common symptoms associated with sleep apnea.

How do we diagnose sleep apnea?

The first step in diagnosing sleep apnea is for a patient to undergo a sleep study, which will we recommend be performed at home or in our in-house sleep lab. We’ll also gather information about a person’s family and medical history.

In what ways is sleep apnea treated?

Sleep apnea can be treated in many ways, some of which include:

  • CPAP Therapy – With a continuous positive airway pressure machine, the device pushes air into a mask that is worn over the patient’s face. The pressurized air keeps the airway open and reduces the chances of soft tissues collapsing while asleep. For many patients, however, this type of treatment causes many problems because of its bulkiness and discomfort.
  • Oral appliance therapy – Using a custom-made device, our team at Star Sleep & Wellness can recommend an appropriate appliance that will be worn inside the mouth. Gently shifting the jaw forward, the device keeps the airway open throughout the night. These devices are easy to use, comfortable to wear, and easy to travel with.
  • Surgery – Although extremely rare, surgery is an option if no other forms of treatment can be successfully completed.

Are there risks of untreated sleep apnea?

Yes, if sleep apnea is left untreated, it can lead to serious problems and complications forming throughout the body. A person’s overall health and well-being will be compromised, as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and depression become a reality.

Is sleep apnea common?

Yes, it is believed that sleep apnea is a common condition that affects more than 22 million people in the United States. Around 80% of these cases, however, are often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.

What risks can lead to developing sleep apnea?

The different risks that can lead to the development of sleep apnea include obesity, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. Also, genetics is known to be a common risk factor.

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Why does snoring occur?

Snoring occurs when there is an obstruction in a person’s airway. When a blocked nasal or throat cavity becomes restricted, it becomes harder to breathe freely. When the throat muscles and/or tongue become relaxed, it causes the vibrations that create the loud noise.

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Is it normal to snore?

It is not uncommon for individuals to snore; however, it is important that it be examined if the loud noise causes disruptions when trying to sleep. Not all snoring cases mean a more serious problem, but it can and should be treated if it is causing issues with a person’s sleep quality.

Can snoring be stopped?

Snoring can be addressed using different methods of treatment. Lifestyle changes, weight loss, medications, exercise, and even oral appliances can help to reduce symptoms and create more peaceful sleep.

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Is snoring attributed to other sleep issues?

It can but not always. Just because a person snores doesn’t mean they have sleep apnea; however, if snoring loudly is a common occurrence that is causing a person to stop breathing, it could be a sign that there is a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.

Are there risks if snoring isn’t treated?

Untreated snoring can lead to serious consequences if not properly treated. Apart from the toll it can take on the heart (i.e., high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke), it can also lead to low oxygen levels in the blood and pulmonary hypertension.

Oral Appliances

How are sleep apnea and/or snoring treated with oral appliances?

These portable, easy-to-use devices treat sleep apnea and/or snoring by supporting the jaw and shifting it slightly forward to keep the throat muscles and tissues from collapsing. This keeps the airways open, allowing for air to flow freely.

What are the benefits of oral appliance therapy?

Apart from their smaller design, oral appliances make it easy to travel and achieve better sleep. They’re also quiet and easy to use, which is vastly different than the bulky machinery required of a CPAP machine.

Are there any side effects to wearing an oral appliance?

Every patient is different, but our team at Star Sleep & Wellness in Frisco goes the extra mile to ensure that each oral appliance is custom-made to fit comfortably for each person. This helps to lower the chances of any ill side effects. Should any occur, they’re likely to be minor and easily treated (i.e., tooth discomfort, jaw discomfort, dry mouth, excess saliva production). It is also possible for there to be a change in a person’s bite, but our team will provide helpful exercises that can be completed at home to prevent this from happening.

Does insurance cover oral appliance therapy?

Most health insurance companies do offer coverage for oral appliances. Because they are deemed medical devices, oral appliances are a great alternative for individuals who are CPAP-intolerant. Our team will work closely with you and your insurance company to help maximize your benefits and keep any out-of-pocket expenses low. We’ll also make sure that you have the information needed to make the right decision about your overall health and well-being.

Additional Questions

What other common sleep disorders are there?

To better understand the different types of sleep disorders, we recommend that you click the following link. Here, you can learn about insomnia, nocturia, restless leg syndrome, shift-work disorder, and many more that can impact your ability to get a restful night’s sleep.

What will my first visit be like?

When meeting with our team for your first visit, you will undergo a thorough consultation that includes going over your medical and family health history as well as capturing images and scans of your oral and facial anatomy. We’ll then determine the symptoms causing your sleep problems and place you with in-house experts who can best treat these issues. If sleep apnea is a possibility, we will recommend an at-home or in-house sleep study, which we will be happy to refer you to and oversee.