Sleep Apnea Appliance Therapy
Sleep apnea is the most common and the most dangerous sleep disorder. People who suffer from sleep apnea stop breathing dozens of times during sleep. This can be particularly severe and life threatening when there are more than twenty or thirty stoppages per hour. Because the heart is sensitive to oxygen levels in the blood, apnea is most dangerous in people with some form of heart disease.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea is a rare form that is caused by a problem in the central nervous system. The respiratory center in the brain that is responsible for breathing fails.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
As its name implies, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway s obstructed. This is the most common type of sleep apnea and the most serious. Soft tissue in the palate, throat, or tongue may block the flow of air as a person struggles to breathe.
Mixed Sleep Apnea
Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central apnea. Researchers feel most sleep apnea is a mixed form, because a person with obstructive sleep apnea often has a tendency to breathe rapidly when recovering from an obstructive apnea event, thereby lowering the carbon dioxide level in the blood, which can trigger a central apneic event.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Waking up with sore or dry throat
- Awakenings or insomnia
- Loud snoring
- Waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
- Tiredness or lack of energy during the day
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep or continuous movement during sleep
Video: Top 5 Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment
Our office offers a take-home sleep study that helps us screen for OSA. While it is a helpful tool for us, unless interpreted by a physician, it is of little use. We work with a sleep lab locally that can either take our tests and diagnose you or perform a study in a sleep lab that will truly diagnose your condition. Once a diagnosis is made, your physician can choose to work with us in the fabrication, delivery and titration of an oral device that may help your apnea.
Simple snorting differs from apnea in that it is a problem of convenience, not a medical condition per se. If you suffer from snoring or your partner suffers from snoring, an oral device is a simple, predictable and very proven way of eliminating the problem. Oral devices that are touted as being as good as conventional CPAP treatment are misleading at best and quite possibly dangerous if in fact you are not treating the underlying apnea effectively. CPAP therapy will continue to be the gold standard for treating apnea but in reality there are many patients who do not comply with CPAP therapy. For patients that have simple snoring or intolerance to CPAP therapy, an oral device may be an excellent choice.
Our office fabricates several different types of oral appliances for snoring and sleep apnea. If you are interested in learning more about whether an oral appliance may be right for you and which one to choose, we would love to discuss this critically importance health issue with you one on one.
Contact us today to learn more about our Sleep Apnea Appliance Therapy.