Sleep apnea is a serious condition affecting millions of Americans. It occurs when your airway becomes blocked while you sleep, preventing you from breathing properly. In order to resume normal breathing, your brain must wake you up. This cycle can occur hundreds of times a night without you even realizing. Most people only become aware that they may be suffering from sleep apnea if they exhibit the primary symptom, snoring.
Fortunately, sleep apnea is easily treated by Dr. Fleschler. After a comprehensive diagnostic exam, Dr. Fleschler will recommend a customized sleep apnea treatment plan to address the unique circumstances surrounding your condition.
For mild forms of sleep apnea, a series of lifestyle adjustments may be sufficient to alleviate the condition. These typically include:
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Changing sleep positions to avoid sleeping on your back (sleeping on your side is preferred)
- Elevating your head with extra pillows to facilitate breathing during sleep
- Eliminating late night snacks or eating heavy meals shortly before you go to sleep
If your sleep apnea is more serious, Dr. Fleschler may recommend a more aggressive treatment plan. Her preferred sleep apnea treatment method is oral appliance therapy. This involves wearing a customized mouthpiece while you sleep to keep your airway open, allowing you to breathe properly. Dr. Fleschler has consistently achieved excellent results with oral appliance therapy.
Another potential treatment option is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). The CPAP device contains a mask that is worn over your nose and mouth while you sleep. A constant flow of air pressure is delivered through the mask in order to keep your airway open. While CPAP is very effective, the apparatus is rather cumbersome and as a result, it experiences a relatively low compliance rate. This is one of the main reasons why Dr. Fleschler typically prefers to try oral appliance therapy before recommending CPAP.
If you think you may have sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Heather Fleschler using the form at the right side of the page or call (713) 660-6500 today to schedule a sleep apnea diagnostic exam. Dr. Fleschler serves patients in the Houston, Texas areas of West University, Bellaire, Meyerland, and River Oaks.