Sleep apnea is a condition where a person’s airway becomes blocked or congested during sleep. This condition has been connected to long-term brain and heart weakening, as well as contributing to a lack of quality sleep. The most common sign of sleep apnea is snoring or gasping during sleep. If your partner has been complaining, or you’ve woken up in the middle of the night gasping for air, it may be time to consult Dr. Skutak for an evaluation in Rothschild.
Finding the right
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, Dr. Skutak may suggest a night guard appliance. A custom night guard appliance can position your jaw in the right spot to keep your airway open throughout the night. For severe cases of sleep apnea, a CPAP machine may be recommended by your physician. This machine forces air into your airways while you sleep, keeping them open and active. Dr. Skutak can evaluate your symptoms and jaw in order to make the best recommendation for your needs.
What Are the Symptoms
of Sleep Apnea
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring that is loud enough to disrupt you and your partner’s sleep. This frequent snoring can greatly compromise your sleep quality and lead to low blood oxygen levels and difficulty concentrating.
Exhaustion and fatigue are other symptoms of sleep apnea. Unfortunately, sleep apnea disrupts your nighttime sleep, leaving you exhausted during the day. This tiredness can make you less productive and more irritable during the day, affecting your quality of life.
People with sleep apnea might also experience restless nights because of disrupted breathing. You might stop breathing while sleeping, which causes you to wake up before returning to sleep. You might also experience morning headaches that you can manage with OTC painkillers.
Researchers have also linked sleep apnea with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. That’s because sleep disturbances cause imbalances in your hormonal levels, causing changes in your mood and leading to the mental health disorders mentioned.
What Are the Long-Term Effects
of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea has far-reaching effects on your health and quality of life. For instance, medical experts associate sleep apnea with an increased risk of hypertension and other heart-related conditions. The repetitive sleep disruption cycles trigger the release of stress hormones that narrow the blood vessels causing hypertension.
Untreated sleep apnea can also cause metabolic disorders. Examples of these metabolic disorders include type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnea deprives the body of oxygen, thus interfering with insulin and glucose resistance. Diabetes aside, sleep apnea can also cause obesity and a loss of appetite, which leads to weight loss and malnutrition.
Another long-term effect of sleep apnea is NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) and liver dysfunction. This is a cluster term for a wide range of conditions that cause the build-up of fat around the liver. Symptoms of the disease include non-abdominal pain, swelling, fatigue, and yellowing of the skin.
Does Insurance Cover
Sleep Apnea Treatment?
Insurance coverage for sleep apnea varies from one insurer to the next. However, most insurance providers cover sleep apnea treatments. Common treatments for sleep apnea include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and oral appliances designed to keep your mouth open.
That said, whether you receive coverage from your insurance provider also depends on the prescribed treatment and your geographical location. Insurance providers are more reluctant to cover expensive sleep apnea treatments with costly medication. They’ll also be reluctant to cover treatment in inexpensive clinics in large cities.
Some insurance providers only cover complex sleep apnea treatment procedures, which include surgeries like uvulopalatopharyngoplasty that opens the throat to allow proper breathing. The thinking behind this coverage is that other simpler treatments are mostly ineffective and will only lead to recurring symptoms. By providing coverage for complex but effective treatments, insurance providers can sidestep future expenses.
Book an appointment at
If you’re waking your household with snores, Dr. Skutak can help find a treatment plan that is right for you. Contact us at (715) 355-4433 to book a consultation, or stop by at 700 Eagle Nest Boulevard, Suite E, Rothschild, WI 54474.