Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Specialist
Do you wake up in the morning feeling tired, before you even begin your day? Have you noticed that you’re waking up a lot at night? Do you snore loudly? If any of these apply to you, you may have sleep apnea. It’s important to be tested, and if you do have it, to then see a dental and/or medical professional right away. Dr. Amirreza Rafaat, DDS, at Lansdowne and Herndon Smile Design in Northern Virginia, treats sleep apnea so you get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed. Call his office or book an appointment online today to improve your sleep — and your life!

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

If you have sleep apnea, your breathing pauses abnormally while you sleep. The pauses can occur more than 30 times an hour. Why is this happening? The muscles in your throat relax and cause your airway to narrow or close. Your brain senses this and wakes you up so you can take a deep breath. You’ll often wake up with a loud snore or snort as you gasp for breath.

 

Why should I seek treatment for sleep apnea?

If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, get treatment because it can also be a sign of other health issues. Sleep apnea also increases your risk of serious conditions and diseases:

  • Heart attacks and strokes
  • Diabetes, because 80% of people with diabetes may have sleep apnea
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Decreased liver function and scarring
  • High blood pressure

 

What are common signs of sleep apnea?

  • Making loud snorting noises or snoring loudly
  • Pausing when you breathe when asleep
  • Choking or gasps for air that wakes you up
  • Feeling sleepy during the day
  • Falling asleep frequently when at rest
  • Having a headache when you wake up
  • Feeling irritable
  • Feeling depressed
  • Having a dry mouth or a sore throat in the morning
  • Waking up frequently


What are common risk factors for sleep apnea?

  • Being male: twice the risk of women
  • Being older
  • Smoking: three times the risk of other adults
  • Being overweight/obese: four times the risk of other adults

 

How can the dentist treat my sleep apnea?

Dr. Rafaat uses dental devices to treat sleep apnea so that you — and your significant other — can get a good night’s sleep. He works with you to determine which option is best for you. One option, the mandibular advancement device, is similar to a mouthguard that athletes use when they play sports. It helps keep your air passage open by moving your lower jaw down.

Another option, a tongue-retaining device, keeps your tongue in the proper position so your air passage isn’t blocked. Dr. Rafaat periodically adjusts it to ensure proper function. With your airflow improved, you’ll improve your sleep, reduce the amount and loudness of your snoring, wake up feeling much more rested, and lessen your risk of serious complications.

Dr. Rafaat also discusses alternative solutions with you that can involve other health professionals.  

At Lansdowne & Herndon Smile Design, Dr. Amirreza Rafaat provides Sleep Apnea treatment and solutions to patients throughout Northern Virginia, including Lansdowne, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Leesburg, Reston, and Broadlands, VA. Call or book an appointment online today to schedule a visit!

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