Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a very dangerous condition. It is under diagnosed and frequently dismissed as harmless yet annoying snoring. If you or a loved one snore loudly, please have a sleep study done to rule out this potentially fatal condition.
Snoring occurs when the airway becomes partially blocked or occluded. An example would be a tongue that falls back as we drift off into deeper sleep. As the diameter of the airway passage shrinks, the result is a muffled sound secondary to vibrations in the throat, or snoring. In many situations the body will still be allowed to get adequate oxygen causing little or no harm. However, this should bring up a red flag as it could be an early sign or part of sleep apnea. Most all sleep apnea sufferers snore in between bouts of apnea, or oxygen interuption.A sleep study should be done to determine the seriousness of one’s condition.
Sleep apnea patients will have a rough night and not even be aware of it…until they wake up exhausted and tired all day. In a given night, apneic events (when they stop breathing) can occur anywhere from 30-50 times per hour, and in some as many as 60-100 times!
Common side effects of sleep apnea patients include: heart attacks or irregular heart beats, impotence, high blood pressure, stroke, heartburn, morning headaches, dry mouth, gastroesophageal reflux disease, impared concentration, depression, decreased libido, irritability, difficulty in losing weight…and the obvious chronic sleepiness. Sleep apnea patients are at a much greater risk of automobile accidents for obvious reasons.
The “gold standard” for treatment of sleep apnea is pesently with the CPAP machine.However, only a minority of CPAP users are still compliant after one year.If you are one of the non-compliant, we can fabricate an oral appliance that will help open your airway and reduce the severity of your sleep apnea. These appliances reduce sleep apnea associated health risks without the need for surgery, medications, or other therapies. A custom oral appliance worn while sleeping is fabricated to hold the lower jaw forward and open, preventing the tongue and throat tissues from collapsing the critical airway.