Sleep Apnea’s Hidden Danger – Even Your Doctor May Not Realize

If you, or someone you love, is suffering from sleep apnea and is struggling with a CPAP machine, it’s important to remember that a CPAP machine is not a cure — it’s a treatment that only works if you wear it.

But, the CPAP is not the only option out there. In certain cases, a Mandibular Sleep Apnea Appliance works just as well and seems to be a lot more user friendly. It fits kind of like a retainer or mouth guard, without all the tubes or machine. It helps the lower jaw support the tongue and open the air passageway.

Modern Dental Sleep Apnea Device

About 10 years ago, one of our staff members lost her mother-in-law to sleep apnea. She had suffered from obstructive sleep apnea for years and used a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine at night. The CPAP machine can be cumbersome to plug into every night.

She had hurt her back and her doctor prescribed Morphine tablets. That night, she took one of the tablets and forgot to plug in her CPAP machine. She did not wake up the next morning. This is a tragic loss, and one that could have been avoided.

First of all, a more user friendly appliance may have kept her breathing through the night. And, second, her doctor should have been made aware of her condition before writing her a prescription.

Sleep Apnea Drug Interactions: What You Need to Know

Drugs that fall into the Benzodizepines, Opiates, and Barbiturades category can suppress breathing and cause your upper airway to become more collapsible. As these drugs suppress your level of consciousness, you may not be able to protect your airway adequately, especially if you suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Discuss Your Sleep Apnea With Your Doctor

It’s important to tell your doctor about your sleep apnea when he or she is writing you a prescription. Often, doctors ask if you are on any medications, but there are no drugs for sleep apnea, so the condition does not come up in the conversation. It should.

It’s been said before, and we’ll say it again. When it comes to your health, it’s important to be your own advocate.  There is no need to spend another sleepless night. Effective treatments are available.

~ Modern Dental

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