More than 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that interferes with a restful night’s sleep and can cause a wide variety of symptoms that can affect your quality of life. Dr. Dana Ross is credentialed with American Sleep Dentistry and will be more than happy to visit with you about a sleep apnea appliance. Only you medical doctor can diagnose your condition; however, once a sleep study is completed, our office can assist you in getting a sleep apnea appliance made to enable you to get a better night’s rest.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
If you suffer from sleep apnea, you stop breathing for several seconds at a time throughout the night. This occurs while you sleep, so you usually have no idea. Even if you sleep beside someone, it is not always obvious that you have stopped breathing as the episodes are so brief.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when your throat relaxes abnormally during the night. When the muscles of the throat relax, they cover up the windpipe, blocking the flow of air. When this occurs, your brain shifts into a panic mode, rousing you enough that your throat tenses again and breathing resumes.
When you breathe while sleeping, air enters your mouth and nose and freely passes through the back of your throat into your lungs.
Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles and tissues in the back of your throat relax and collapse your airway while you sleep. As air attempts to pass through this collapsed airway, tissues vibrate and cause you to snore. Sometimes this collapse prohibits airflow so severely that you briefly stop breathing; your body automatically responds and wakes you up, allowing airflow to resume. This pattern of air deprivation and breath resumption is known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause multiple complications, including: chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, depression, heart attack and more.
How Do I Know if I Have Sleep Apnea?
Are you tired? Do you snore? Are you tired of you CPAP? Do you suffer from diabetes, depression, or high blood pressure? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may suffer from a debilitating disorder called sleep apnea and a sleep appliance may be your answer.
Is Sleep Apnea Treatment Necessary?
The lack of oxygen caused by sleep apnea can have a profoundly detrimental effect upon your body, making sleep apnea treatment important for protecting your health. Untreated, sleep apnea can raise your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and liver problems.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
There are only 2 products that are FDA cleared to eliminate or reduce sleep apnea: An oral appliance or a CPAP. Both the oral appliance and CPAP eliminate or reduce sleep apnea by opening the blocked airway in the back of your throat.
A CPAP opens the blocked airway by forcing air down your throat through a mask. Consequently, your airway remains open, thus eliminating or reducing sleep apnea.