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Sleep Apnea Info

We at Mary E Lucido DMD knows that sleep apnea affects millions of people, including lots right here in Alton - and that many of them don't even realize it! Though snoring is the most obvious of sleep apnea symptoms, skipping breaths while you sleep is by far a more serious health concern.

We will tell you that, left untreated, sleep apnea is associated with higher risks of serious health problems like heart attack or stroke. Sleep disorders can compromise your whole-body health. Call us today at (888)440-3433 to make an appointment.

If you're suffering from sleep apnea and are in the Alton area, Mary E Lucido DMD can provide sleep apnea treatment for you. Imagine if you could stop snoring, stop feeling daytime fatigue, and start sleeping soundly... A good night's sleep may be closer than you think!

Sleep Apnea: A Treatable Sleep Disorder

Mary E Lucido DMD treats many Alton residents who suffer from sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder. Sleep apnea is diagnosed when someone sleeping stops breathing momentarily, then gasps for air. Apneas are defined as pauses in breathing that last 10 seconds or longer; a shorter one is called a hypopnea. This is most often caused by your airway becoming blocked during sleep; this is known as obstructive sleep apnea.

If you have sleep apnea, you will most likely have many apneas each night. However, since sleep apneas happen while you're sleeping, it's can be hard to diagnose yourself. Maybe you don't feel rested when you wake up, get sleepy during the day, and have never known why.

During an apnea, the level of oxygen in the blood falls, so the brain can't get the air it needs. This compromises REM sleep, which ought to be deeply restful. Sleep apnea can leave people with daytime fatigue, but it also leaves people more prone to a range of other health problems. Research suggests an association between sleep apnea and heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, memory loss and brain damage.

When seeking sleep apnea treatments, patients have a number of options. The most popular therapy is a CPAP machine; the breathing mask gives continuous positive air pressure all night long. However, some patients choose splint therapy, deciding they would prefer a nightguard to a sleep mask. Only in the most severe cases might we consider sleep apnea surgery.

But treatment can sometimes be refreshingly simple. People with mild sleep apnea may be able to triumph over the sleep disorder by making some straightforward lifestyle changes. These include avoiding alcohol and tobacco, doing breathing exercises, losing weight, and sleeping at an angle, on one's side, or with a sleep apnea pillow.

If you're in Illinois and would like a sleep apnea consultation, just give us a call at (888) 444-3433. We'll help you sleep easier!

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: What Keeps You from Breathing at Night

Obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA, is the most common type of sleep apnea. Mary E Lucido DMD provides people in Illinois with treatment for this sleep disorder. OSA is characterized by breathing passages being momentarily obstructed during sleep, leading to gasping and skipped breaths. The person tries to inhale but cannot get any oxygen since the airway is blocked.

Seeking obstructive sleep apnea treatment from Mary E Lucido DMD can improve your overall health, but that's not all. There's another real benefit of sleep apnea treatment, and that's treating snoring. If your husband or wife snores, you know just what a prize that would be. Research suggests that snoring treatment can actually improve the quality of a marriage!

Not everyone who snores suffers from sleep apnea. On the other hand, people with sleep apnea almost always snore. Snoring is just the rumbling sound of breathing, and it's not a health problem in and of itself. Sleep apnea, however, is sleep disordered breathing, and it can have negative health consequences.

Treatment options include lifestyle changes, CPAP breathing machines, and oral appliance therapy. Only in the most serious situations, when other treatments have failed, is sleep apnea surgery considered. Surgery removes the oral and throat tissue that block the airway.

No matter what, treatment begins with a consultation. If you're near Alton and think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, call us at (888) 444-3433 to schedule an appointment.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms: Snoring and Fatigue

Sleep apnea treatment starts with a diagnosis. Fortunately for Illinois, Mary E Lucido DMD can both diagnose and treat the sleep disorder. You may notice some of your sleep apnea symptoms, but there are others you can't see yourself. Snoring is frequently an indicator of sleep apnea, but you may not know you snore unless a sleeping partner tells you so.

Gasping and skipping breaths while sleeping is clear evidence of sleep apnea. Again, you can't observe your own behavior while you sleep, but a partner may notice it. In fact, if you have sleep apnea, you will stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer at a time while you sleep. These pauses in breathe can startle or scare others, but your sleeping self will be unaware of any breathing problems.

However, there are other symptoms of sleep apnea that may be more obvious to you. Restless sleep, feeling tired when you wake, and getting sleepy during the day can all result from sleep apnea. It can also lead to grouchiness, fatigue and depression.

If you live near Alton and don't feel like your sleep is as restful as its supposed to be, you could be suffering from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. Call Mary E Lucido DMD at (888) 444-3433 to schedule an appointment and find out how we can help you sleep better.

Snoring May Indicate Sleep Apnea

Mary E Lucido DMD specializes in all sorts of oral topics - even snoring! Though most people in Illinois might not think of seeing a dentist for snoring, it turns out that dentists can effectively treat sleep disorders like sleep apnea, which is often the cause of snoring.

A snore is the rumbling sound of air traveling through a partially obstructed airway. When the airway becomes fully obstructed, you get obstructive sleep apnea. This breathing disorder is characterized by pauses in breathing that last at least 10 seconds, followed by gasping.

By itself, snoring isn't a health risk. Sleep apnea, on the other hand, genuinely is. When you skip breaths, your blood oxygen levels plummet. This can damage your brain and body, Sleep apnea ups your risk of various health problems, including stroke, heart attack, and memory loss.

Before a dentist can cure snoring, he or she needs to determine the cause. Sleep apnea treatment helps patients breathe smoothly all night long, and it has the delightful side benefit of reducing or eliminating snoring.

If you (or your partner) have a snoring problem, Mary E Lucido DMD can help. Just give us a ring at (888) 444-3433 and we'll schedule an appointment for you to come into our Alton office to discuss treatment options.

CPAP Machines: A Popular Sleep Apnea Treatment

Mary E Lucido DMD offers CPAP therapy. The top treatment for sleep apnea, many people in Illinois have found relief with CPAP. This machine uses a breathing machine to provide continuous positive air pressure all night long; all you do is breathe through a sleep mask. CPAP allows you to breathe normally throughout the night. That means that you sleep more soundly, snore less, and feel more rested and refreshed the next day.

The CPAP machine itself is relatively small. There are different types of CPAP masks; some cover both the nose and mouth, others just the nose. We'll help you find a CPAP mask that is comfortable for you, and we'll ensure that it fits properly. If it doesn't, you won't have a good seal, and the pressurized air may escape before it ever reaches your lungs.

That is part of the reason why the FDA regulates CPAP machines. CPAP treatment requires a prescription. Fortunately, Mary E Lucido DMD can provide that, as well as monitoring your treatment to make sure you're getting the most out of it.

Some types of CPAP machines include a computer that monitors your breathing at night. We can then review this information to learn more about your sleeping patterns and how well your sleep apnea treatment is working. And even if CPAP isn't right for you, we can discuss other breathing machines and sleep apnea therapies.

If you're ready to start sleeping better, give us a call at (888) 444-3433; lots of Alton residents already have! We'd be happy to schedule an appointment to talk about sleep apnea and what your treatment options are.

Breathing Machines: More Than Just CPAP

If you have sleep apnea and live near Alton, Mary E Lucido DMD can provide you with a breathing machine. The machine attaches to a sleep mask that gives you a steady stream of air throughout the night. You'll stop snoring, and other sleep apnea symptoms will fade or disappear. With your body getting a steady supply of oxygen all night, your sleep will be more restful, and you'll experience less daytime fatigue.

The CPAP machine is the most common breathing machine. It provides a continuous stream of positive air pressure. The air moves through a flexible tube and into a sleep mask over your nose.

But CPAP is not the only option; there are other types of breathing machines as well. Some people do not prefer CPAP machines. However, it's worth noting that other machines tend to cost more than CPAP and are less likely to be covered by insurance.

A VPAP machine provides variable positive airway pressure. A BiPAP machine offers bilevel positive airway pressure. These machines allow for different air pressure when inhaling than when exhaling. For some people, VPAP or BiPAP therapy feels more natural and comfortable.

An APAP machine provides automatic positive airway pressure or auto-titrating continuous positive airway pressure. This type of breathing machine has sensors that monitor breathing and provide air as needed.

Oral Appliance Therapy for Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea appliances are another way Mary E Lucido DMD can help people in Alton sleep soundly. Worn while you sleep, oral appliances can hold your mouth and jaw in such a way that makes breathing easier and will stop snoring. A sleep apnea oral appliance fits into your mouth like a mouthguard, nightguard or orthodontic retainer.

Oral appliance therapy is a popular alternative to CPAP treatment. There are many options, and your dentist can help you choose which sleep apnea appliance will be best for your obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

One sleep apnea remedy is the mandibular advancement system (MAS), also known as a mandibular advancement device (MAD). This oral splint is a dental appliance the lower jaw slightly forward, which can effectively treat sleep apnea and also provide snoring prevention.

There are many other types of sleep apnea equipment. Generally, oral appliances for snoring and sleep apnea are made of soft plastic or hard acrylic. Some incorporate wires or rubber bands to provide the right sort of pressure. Almost all of them require a prescription and a professional fitting by your dental sleep medicine dentist or sleep apnea physician. If a dental appliance doesn't fit properly, it can lead to orthodontic problems and trouble breathing.

If you're in Illinois and are ready to start sleeping better, just give Mary E Lucido DMD a call at (888) 444-3433. We'd be happy to discuss your sleep apnea treatment options.

Sleep Apnea Behavioral Therapy

Sleep apnea remedies don't have to involve breathing machines or complicated sleep apnea surgery. When it comes to treating sleep apnea, we at Mary E Lucido DMD believe that behavioral changes can offer snoring relief and reduce sleep apnea symptoms among our Illinois patients.

"Behavioral therapy" doesn't mean you sit on Freud's couch and get psychoanalysis. It's about making some simple changes in your life to help manage mild or moderate sleep apnea. With a little effort, you may be able to find a snoring cure, quit tossing and turning, and avoid daytime sleepiness.

If you've had a sleep apnea diagnosis, here are some of the best tips for sleep apnea treatment and snoring prevention:

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol, muscle relaxants, opiates and other depressants make breathing more difficult, especially when you sleep. It's especially important to avoid them in the few hours before you fall asleep. Lose weight. The fact is, people who are overweight are more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Losing weight doesn't just trim your midsection; it also can give your airways a little more "breathing room." Sleep in a different position. Evidence suggests that you may be able to find a snoring solution by sleeping on your side or stomach instead of your back, or by sleeping in an inclined position. (Some people use a sleep apnea pillow for this purpose.) Quit smoking. Nicotine and cigarettes can make a snoring problem worse. Do breathing exercises. They can make your airway stronger, less likely to collapse as you sleep. Singing lessons can also be a snoring remedy. So can learning the didgeridoo! Avoid congestion. This means avoiding allergens or anything else that may cause mucus: dust, dander, pollen, and dairy products are common culprits. If you'd like to learn more about sleep apnea and how a Alton dentist can treat it, just call Mary E Lucido DMD at (888) 444-3433. We'll make an appointment for you to discuss your concerns with the dentist.

Sleep Apnea Surgery: When Nothing Else Works

At Mary E Lucido DMD, we believe that sleep apnea surgery is the treatment of last resort for Illinois residents with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who have not found relief from other sleep apnea treatments. When it comes to surgery for sleep apnea, information is key.

In OSA, the airways become obstructed, cause the person to skip breaths and gasp for air. If methods such as lifestyle changes, CPAP machines, and oral appliance therapy are not successful in treating sleep apnea, then sleep apnea physicians may recommend sleep apnea surgery.

There are many parts of the airway (the breathing tubes) that can be obstructed. For sleep apnea surgery to be successful, the sleep apnea dentist or sleep apnea physician must identify and treat all areas with obstructions. For some patients, this may require more than one surgical procedure.

Here is an overview of the different types of sleep apnea surgery:

Maxillomandibular Advancement: This is a type of orthognathic surgery that moves the jaw forward (the same principle behind sleep apnea oral appliance therapy). Also known as bimaxillary advancement (Bi-Max) or maxillomandibular osteotomy (MMO), it's often accompanied by tongue surgery.

Tracheotomy: This is when a sleep apnea surgeon creates a new "breathing hole" in the throat. Patients breathe and speak normally during the day, but at night they breathe through the tracheotomy tube in their windpipe. It's a dramatic procedure, but one that's certain to provide relief.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty: Known as a UPPP or UP3, this is when soft tissue is surgically removed from the back of the mouth and throat. The tonsils and uvula are removed, leaving the patient with a "bigger" throat that makes breathing easier. Laser-assisted UP (LAUP) uses a laser to provide similar results. Unfortunately, these procedures are not always successful.

Tongue Reduction: Reducing the size of the tongue can leave more space in the throat and airway. This may be a surgical glossectomy or somnoplasty.

Tongue Advancement: Surgery that pulls the tongue and its muscles toward the front of the mouth. Known as genioglossus and hyoid advancement (GGA), this procedure leaves more space for breathing in the back of the mouth and throat. It is most often done in conjunction with other treatment or surgery.

Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy: This surgery removes the tonsils and adenoids, making more space in the throat for breathing. It is especially useful in treating children's sleep apnea.

If you're ready to learn more, call Mary E Lucido DMD at (888) 444-3433 to make an appointment today for the Alton dentist to discuss all your treatment options with you.

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Mary E. Lucido, D.M.D.
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Dr. Mary E. Lucido

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Mary E. Lucido, D.M.D.
2201 State Street
Alton, IL 62002
General Info: (618) 462-8123

 Call for an appointment:
(618) 462-8123

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