What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the tissues of your upper airway (throat) collapse down, or your tongue falls back into your throat and restricts or prevents you from breathing for extended periods of time while you sleep.
A person with diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea can have hundreds, sometimes thousands, of events throughout the night. The body rarely wakes up and patients may not recall not breathing, even though it happened many times. The body is deprived of valuable oxygen. It is essentially being suffocated at night, every night, over and over again.
As a result of the constant night time breathing stoppages, patients will often begin to suffer from a number of symptoms directly related to sleep apnea.
- excessive daytime tiredness
- acid reflux
- high blood pressure
- heart attack
Is Sleep Apnea really a big problem?
People with Obstructive Sleep Apnea:
- Are many times more likely to have a stroke (90% of stroke patients have OSA)
- 4 times more likely to have a heart attack
- 2 times more likely to die in their sleep
- 7 times more likely to have a motor vehicle accident
- Have a 40% greater risk of depression
- More likely to have sexual impotence and diabetes
Do I have Sleep Apnea?
Do you snore? Are you exhausted all day? Do you want to sleep better? If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you may have a sleep disorder or Sleep Apnea. Southern Boulevard Dental is an Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Airway Diagnostic Clinic and Treatment Center. We use the highest technology to determine if you have this problem. Our testing is very easy and comfortable and most can be done in the privacy of your own home with a Home Sleep Test. If we find that you do have Sleep Apnea, we will discuss your treatment options with you.
I have Been Diagnosed with Sleep Apnea but I can't use a C-Pap. Are there other options?
There are many treatment options available to people suffering from OSA. The one that has been getting the most attention lately is oral appliance therapy. Oral appliances work by holding your lower jaw open and slightly forward during sleep. This prevents the tongue from falling back and contacting the back of your throat and creating an obstruction. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, oral appliances are the recommended first line treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea.
There are currently nearly 85 appliances FDA approved to treat sleep apnea. Dr. Goebbel at Southern Boulevard Dental, has been well trained in appliance selection and treatment techniques. Oral Appliances present an appealing treatment option for newly diagnosed patients as well as patients who have been previously diagnosed with sleep apnea and are unhappy with the recommended CPAP therapy.
I Snore, but My Doctor Says I Don't Have Sleep Apnea. Is Snoring Harmful?
Unless you consider the damage done to the relationship with your bed partner then no, snoring is not generally considered harmful on its own. It can actually be easily treated and eliminated by an appliance from Southern Boulevard Dental. Snoring is, however, considered a strong risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea, and should not be ignored as simply harmless. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can become progressively worse over time.