Treating Sleep Apnea While Traveling
In the modern world, many people have to travel a lot. Some people travel for work, spending days or weeks at a time on the road.
Many people travel for pleasure. Maybe you are taking a long weekend to spend some time getting back to nature, or maybe you are planning a two-week trip overseas.
If you have sleep apnea, making sure you are treating your condition can make travel more complicated, especially if you have a CPAP machine.
At Beaumont Family Dentistry, we may be able to help with a sleep apnea treatment that is simpler, smaller, and much, much easier to take with you. We’ve treated patients from all over Central Kentucky at our three dentist offices in Lexington.
Now might be a good time to find out if a mouthguard could help you or someone you know who has sleep apnea.
How To Know If You Have Sleep Apnea
The only way to know for certain is to undergo a sleep study, but knowing the symptoms may help you know if you should be tested.
The University of Kentucky Sleep Disorder Center defines sleep apnea as a “momentary, repetitive cessation of breathing during sleep.”
When you have sleep apnea, you may stop breathing hundreds of times throughout the night. As a result, your body may wake you up over and over to get you to breathe again. These events may happen so briefly that you have no memory of them, but they also may mean that you never receive deep, quality sleep.
Some possible warning signs that you may have sleep apnea include:
- Frequent, loud snoring
- Frequent breathing stoppages during the night (you may need to ask your spouse, significant other, or family member about this)
- High blood pressure
- Morning headaches
- Weight gain
- Frequent dry mouth after waking up
- Frequent sore throats after waking up
- Frequent daytime sleepiness
If this sounds like you, or someone you know, then you should get diagnosed as soon as you can. Beaumont Family Dentistry can help you arrange a sleep study if you would like.
Our own Dr. Takacs completed a residency on sleep medicine at Tufts University, and she is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
Why You Need To Treat Your Sleep Apnea
Where do we begin? Sleep apnea can hurt you in a lot of ways.
Studies have shown that people with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes and to have other cardiovascular problems.
People with sleep apnea are more likely to have difficulty staying focused on a particular task, and they are more likely to fall asleep during the day. Both of those things also may explain why people with sleep apnea are more likely to cause automobile accidents.
You also have to consider your family. If you share a bed with someone, your partner may have trouble falling asleep if you are snoring constantly, not to mention how they may feel when they notice that you’ve stopped breathing because they are awake.
How You Can Treat Your Sleep Apnea
The most common treatment is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. This machine blows air into your mouth and nose. This keeps your airways open so you can breathe easier while you are asleep.
Another option is a dental device, like the ones you can get at Beaumont Family Dentistry. This device is a mouthguard that you wear while you sleep.
The mouthguard changes the position of your jaw. This too helps to keep your airways open so you can breathe easier.
Treating Sleep Apnea On The Road
If you have sleep apnea, it goes with you wherever you go. If you are going to treat it, then you need to take you treatment with you, too.
If you have a CPAP, you may learn that it creates a new set of travel problems.
Do you pack your machine with your luggage or keep it separate? Do you want to check your machine at the airport? What if the airline loses your machine?
What if you are traveling overseas where they have those different outlets? Will your machine work? Or what if you are camping where there is no electricity?
With a dental mouthguard, you won’t have any of those issues. You can carry the mouthguard in a purse, a pocket, or with your carry-on luggage.
And a mouthguard never needs electricity, so you won’t have to worry about plugging it in (or not being able to do so).
Get The Rest You Need
No matter where you are, you deserve a good night’s sleep. Getting enough rest could make a big difference if you have to give a presentation the next day.
A dental mouthguard from Beaumont Family Dentistry can be an effective substitute or even a backup option to make sure you can treat your sleep apnea even when you can’t plug in you CPAP or if your machine breaks down.
To get a dental mouthguard for your sleep apnea, contact any of our dentist offices in Lexington. Make an appointment by calling or clicking on the office closest to you to fill out our online form.