What are the signs and symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Snoring affects millions of people every night, but it could also be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. At certain levels of severity, complete blockage of the airway by the soft tissues and tongue can occur. If this period of asphyxiation lasts longer than 10 seconds, it is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a medical condition with serious long-term effects.
Other symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea may include: excessive daytime sleepiness (which may cause you to fall asleep at work or even while driving), morning headaches, difficulty concentrating, acid reflux, dry mouth, waking up throughout the night gasping for air (you may also have chest pain or shortness of breath), difficulty staying asleep, or high blood pressure. Many people also suffer from mood swings such as depression or irritability, anxiety, or even attention deficit disorder.
What are the medical implications if it is not treated?
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, an estimated 18 million Americans have Obstructive Sleep Apnea and do not receive enough oxygen during the night endangering their health. With 80% - 90% of sufferers remaining undiagnosed and untreated, it may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease including arrhythmias and heart failure, Hypertension (high blood pressure), Stroke, diabetes, car accidents, or even death.
What are treatment options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
If you have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, it is important that you are getting treatment every night and are regularly monitored to ensure it is working effectively. Traditionally, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is a machine that provides a constant stream of air though a mask you wear while you sleep is prescribed.
If you are not wearing or are unable to wear a CPAP, we can provide a comfortable and effective alternative. A properly fit and custom made oral appliance keeps your airway open and allows you to breathe easily.
What makes our appliance different from many others?
In order to treat your condition, we must first properly diagnose your sleep disorder. To differentiate between mild snoring, and the more serious Obstructive Sleep Apnea, we perform an at-home sleep study. This portable sleep monitor will export your sleep data and breathing patterns which a licensed physician will analyze and prescribe the proper treatment based on your individual results.
Our highly trained clinicians will fabricate a custom fit appliance that is made specifically for your needs based on the above reports. We use a patented “accufit” liner allowing the appliance to be customized for a much more personalized and comfortable fit while permitting small movements of the jaw (TMJ) and uninhibited oral breathing. This also means if you have future dental work, you will not need to have a new appliance made saving you future expense. Many people with Sleep Apnea also suffer from nighttime clenching or grinding of their teeth, and we are able to fabricate an appliance that is suitable to treat both disorders at once. However, every case is different and treatment depends on your individual needs; we are happy to discuss the best option for you.