What is the number one reason that people with sleep apnea come to see Dr. Jacques Doueck? In this report, he explains what the problem is and how it can be solved.
Dr. Doueck says that the biggest reason people come to see him (other than for snoring) is that they are tired during the daytime. They know something is wrong. “I’m getting eight hours of sleep every night, but I’m tired all the time.” They’ve heard that there is a connection between being tired all the time and sleep apnea. And, says Dr. Doueck, they are exactly right.
When a patient comes in with this complaint, Dr. Doueck explains, a sleep study will be done on the patient, and it will probably show sleep apnea. The first treatment option for sleep apnea, the gold standard, is a CPAP machine. But for a lot of people, CPAP is not an option. They are uncomfortable with the mask and stop using the machine. When patients who can’t tolerate CPAP come to see Dr. Doueck, they will be fitted with a custom-made oral appliance. And much of the time, that solves the problem. These patients no longer complain of being tired.
Some patients claim that they are never tired. They came because they were snoring, but they aren’t aware of being tired. The reason, says Dr. Doueck, is that we live in a caffeinated society. People love coffee, and it is the beautiful drug that gets them through their days. The coffee hides the tiredness. Most of these people are sleep apnea patients who end up with an oral appliance. And later, they discover they don’t need so much coffee to get through the day.
Dr. Doueck points out again that sleep apnea deprives a patient of restful sleep by blocking the patient’s airway and preventing the body from achieving the level three sleep the body requires. The blockages can occur hundreds of time during the night. Some people who suffer from headaches notice that the headaches go away after their sleep apnea is treated.
So, as Dr. Doueck emphasizes again, treating sleep apnea is important, and the human body gets many benefits from a proper night of sleep. And in the treatment of sleep apnea, the custom-made oral appliances are a powerful tool. The appliances are comfortable, and patients who get them tend to use them and benefit.
Dr. Jacques Doueck, DDS, practices with Doueck Dental Sleep Medicine, Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Doueck is a diplomate, American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He holds membership in the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and the Academy of Minimally Invasive Biomimetic Dentistry. He hosts a 45 minute weekly radio show on various health topics. He is a clinical consultant for the Dental Advisor, a monthly journal that reviews current dental materials and techniques. Dr. Doueck writes a monthly article on state-of-the-art dentistry for “Image” and “Community” magazines. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.