Obstructive sleep apnea is a very common and potentially deadly medical disorder. Sleep Apnea occurs when the airway is blocked and airflow is limited during sleep. More than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and many are not even aware of this condition. They are not being diagnosed and are not receiving treatment of any kind.
Sleep apnea occurs when the soft palate tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway. When this happens it reduces the amount of oxygen that goes to all of your organs including your heart and brain.
Most people with sleep apnea may snore loudly and stop breathing for short periods of time. Sometimes you can suffer from Sleep Apnea and never snore but find that you wake up often in the middle of sleep. When your blood-oxygen level drops to a low level, the body momentarily wakens abruptly. Sometimes it can happen so fast that you may not realize you woke up. Other times it will
wake you up and startle you. This can happen hundreds of times a night, and you will probably wake up in the morning feeling very tired.
During the day you might feel very tired and sleepy because you haven’t gotten a good rest at night. In addition sleep apnea can also cause memory loss, morning headaches, irritability, depression, decreased sex drive and impaired concentration. Sleep apnea patients can have a higher risk of stroke and heart problems, heart attack, congestive heart failure and hypertension are among
some of the most common conditions related to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea patients are also more likely to be involved in an accident at the workplace or while driving.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea patients can be of any age but most often are older, obese, and have thick necks, but men and women of any age or body type can have sleep apnea. The sleep disorder worsens as we get older and have weight gain. Below are some common signs of sleep apnea:
- General daytime sleepiness
- Unrefreshed sleep
- Insomnia Unintentionally falling asleep during the day
- Unintentionally falling asleep during the day
- Waking from sleep with a choking sound or gasping for breath
- Loud snoring Fatigue
Oral appliances (OA) are the most common treatment for patients with mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Another form of helping with Sleep Apnea is a (CPAP) machine or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This machine is a large mask that is worn at night and it supplies the lungs with a burst of oxygen. The problem with a CPAP machine is that it is very large and uncomfortable
so many patients can’t or won’t use it. For those patients who want something more comfortable a small plastic device fits in the mouth during sleep like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer. This appliance helps prevent the tongue from falling back into the airway and also prevents the soft tissues in the back of the throat from blocking the airway during sleep and promoting
adequate air intake. Oral appliances may be used alone or in combination with other treatments for sleep-related breathing disorders, such as weight management, surgery or CPAP.
PROCEDURES FOR DIAGNOSIS
You will be scheduled for a Complimentary Consult appt with the Doctor to evaluate your condition. If it seems that you are suffering from Sleep apnea you will be referred to a medical doctor for sleep evaluation. The medical doctor will determine which treatment is best for you. They could recommend a CPAP machine or they could suggest that you have an Oral Appliance made. If an
Oral Appliance is recommended you will return to our office and we will take the necessary impressions to make you that appliance.