Last Sunday, Dr. Mike Firouzian was asked to get up early to share some crucial information on sleep apnea, including a brief discussion of diagnosis and treatment. Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing stops potentially hundreds of times a night, though you may not notice it. Sleep apnea is a potentially deadly condition that needs to be understood.

The vital lessons Dr. Firouzian shared on 10TV are important enough that they bear repeating here as well.

Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea

One of the most important things to know about sleep apnea is that as much as 75% of people with the condition are undiagnosed. They don’t know they have it and don’t know the danger it poses to their health. That’s partly because the condition occurs at night when people are sleeping, so they don’t notice. But the body notices, and the clues are all there. All you have to do is put them together.

If you have some or all of the following symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about sleep apnea:

  • Snoring
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Waking up feeling unrested
  • Morning headaches
  • Waking frequently to urinate
  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Dozing off at work or during tasks
  • Depression or moodiness
  • Diagnosis of high blood pressure

People with sleep apnea likely snore because their airway is narrowing at night before it completely closes off, choking the air supply. Because people are waking up frequently at night, they aren’t getting rest, and they may imagine that they’re waking up because of nightmares or needing to urinate. The frequent awakenings affect every part of the body and mind, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. The frequent awakenings and oxygen shortages lead to stress on the cardiovascular system, which registers first as high blood pressure.

Sleep Dentist Dr. Firouzian Spreads the word on Oral Appliances to a patient at Firouzian Dentistry in Columbus, Ohio

Getting Sleep Apnea Diagnosed

If you suspect sleep apnea, you have to seek out a diagnosis from a doctor. Neither Dr. Firouzian nor any other sleep dentist can diagnose sleep apnea. However, Dr. Firouzian can refer you to a doctor and facilitate the diagnosis with a home sleep test.

Traditionally, many people got their sleep apnea diagnosed in a sleep lab test, but today most people are eligible to get their sleep apnea tested at home. A comfortable, noninvasive sleep test is worn for a few nights sleeping comfortably in your home. The data is sent to a doctor, who scores it and can diagnose your sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you have many treatment options, and for many people an oral appliance represents the best treatment option. In the past, CPAP was considered the best sleep apnea treatment, but most people find this uncomfortable and inconvenient and many people don’t use it. An oral appliance can be just as effective as CPAP for many people, and it’s much more comfortable and convenient.

You should only trust a certified sleep dentist like Dr. Mike Firouzian to fit you with an oral appliance for sleep apnea. To talk to Dr. Firouzian about your sleep apnea, please call (614) 848-5001 today for an appointment at Firouzian Dentistry.