Sleep Apnea & Rheumatoid Arthritis

Sleep apnea, characterized by loud snoring and poor daytime sleep, can be treated comprehensively. Our clinic offers a range of innovative solutions to set us apart from other surgeons in the field. Firstly, we conduct sleep studies to diagnose baseline obstructive sleep apnea, ensuring an accurate understanding of the condition's severity. We also bill insurance, making treatment more accessible.

How is sleep apnea related to rheumatoid arthritis?

A study featured in BMJ Open revealed a noteworthy finding: Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) exhibited a 75% higher incidence rate of sleep apnea compared to those without RA. Reasons for the connection may include:

  • The inflammation induced by RA is intertwined with a protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Interestingly, many individuals with sleep apnea also display heightened TNF levels.
  • RA's impact on the temporomandibular joints, which connect the lower jaw to the skull, may lead to degeneration. Consequently, this degeneration can narrow the airway, elevating the likelihood of experiencing sleep apnea episodes.
  • Obesity presents a shared risk factor for both RA and sleep apnea. In essence, excess weight may contribute to the development of both joint pain and sleep disorders.
  • Additionally, chronic inflammation associated with RA may exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms, creating a complex interplay between the two conditions.

Furthermore, it's important to highlight that RA and sleep apnea can yield similar consequences. Both conditions are notorious for inducing feelings of fatigue and potentially increasing the risk of cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks. 

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Sleep apnea treatments 

After a comprehensive sleep study, we identify the root cause of your sleep apnea. With this precise understanding, we tailor our treatment approach to address the specific issues causing your condition. Whether it's the relaxation of throat muscles, tongue positioning, or nasal airflow obstruction, our customized treatments will target underlying factors. These may include: 

NightLase laser therapy

Experience a painless laser treatment that enhances nighttime breathing.

Lingual frenectomy

Easily resolve tongue issues to improve your sleep quality.

Nasal breathing enhancement

Sleep comfortably with improved airflow.

Oral appliances

Choose a comfortable and quiet solution for sleep apnea without surgery.

CPAP therapy

Enjoy better sleep with a CPAP machine that keeps your airway open for uninterrupted rest.

How long does the treatment take?

The duration of sleep apnea treatment varies based on the chosen method and the individual's response to it. Some individuals may achieve relief and improved sleep quality almost immediately with devices like CPAP or oral appliances. However, treatment for chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis is typically ongoing, as it aims to manage symptoms and prevent long-term complications.

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Why choose us?

At the San Francisco Center for TMJ and Sleep Apnea, we take a holistic and patient-centered approach to addressing the intricate relationship between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and sleep apnea. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing comprehensive care that goes beyond the surface symptoms of these conditions. With expertise in sleep medicine, we understand the complex interplay between inflammation, pain, and sleep disturbances.

What distinguishes us is our commitment to offering holistic treatment plans that address each patient's unique needs. We recognize that managing RA and sleep apnea requires a thorough understanding of how these conditions interact and impact your overall health. Our multidisciplinary approach involves collaboration between sleep specialists, rheumatologists, and other healthcare professionals to develop tailored solutions targeting your symptoms' root causes.

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An extraordinary level of personalized care

Our approach includes advanced diagnostic tools to identify sleep apnea patterns and assess the impact of RA on your sleep quality. We focus on patient education, helping you comprehend the connections between inflammation, pain, and disrupted sleep. By choosing us, you're choosing a team dedicated to improving your sleep, managing RA-related symptoms, and enhancing your overall well-being. We provide expert guidance, comprehensive care, and effective strategies to help you regain control of your health and experience a better quality of life. Take the first step towards better sleep and improved quality of life—contact us today to explore our advanced sleep apnea treatments.

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