SLEEP APNEA - OVERVIEW & FACTS
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common and serious sleep disorder which causes the cessation of breathing during sleep. The airway repeatedly becomes blocked, limiting the amount of air that reaches the lungs. When this happens, snoring or choking may result as it becomes more difficult to breathe. The brain and body become oxygen deprived and you may wake up. This can happen a few times a night, or in more severe cases, several hundred times a night.
Normal breathing open airway, tongue relaxed (fallling slightly back)
Snoring partially blocked airway. When the constricted airway causes vibration
OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA
Fully blocked airway
SLEEP APNEA SYMPTOMS
The most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring is likely to be a sign of sleep apnea when it is followed by silent breathing pauses and choking or gasping sounds.
People with sleep apnea often have daytime sleepiness or fatigue.
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Loud or frequent snoring
- Extended pauses in breathing
- Choking or gasping sounds
- Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Morning headaches
- Nocturia (waking during the night to go to the bathroom)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Decreased sexual desire
- High blood pressure
For those that have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, usually the first line of treatment is the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine. The issue that we are hearing with the CPAP machine is that people are not wearing them because the mask doesn't fit, or it is too uncomfortable to wear. Other common complaints are that the machine blows air into the eyes or the noise from the machine keeps patients and/or their partner awake. Because of these issues, many people stop using the CPAP machine, even though they are dealing with a life-threatening condition.
THE CPAP MACHINE
OUR CUSTOM ORAL DEVICE
DITCH THE MACHINE
START SLEEPING BETTER
Now there are a number of oral devices that are custom made for patients to wear during sleep that help keep the airway open allowing air to pass more freely. After it has been determined which level of sleep apnea a patient is living with and a simple oral exam, a dentist will determine which oral device is the best option for them. Even though this oral device is made through the dentist's office, most medical insurances and medicare will cover either part or all of the expenses for this treatment.