People who get a full night’s sleep every single night don’t have to deal with exhaustion, irritability, and chronic snoring. If you’ve got these and other symptoms of poor sleep, you could be suffering from sleep apnea. It’s a condition that affects nearly 18 million Americans, and its treatment can prevent the occurrence of other serious health problems like heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and even premature death. The Drs. Boyd provide sleep apnea therapy with a removable oral appliance.
There are three types of sleep apnea. The most common is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs due to the partial or complete blockage of the airway during the night. The tongue and lower jaw of OSA sufferers become so relaxed that they collapse into the throat, restricting oxygen flow to the brain. Occurring less often is central sleep apnea, in which the brain does not communicate to the muscles controlling breath. Mixed sleep apnea, the least common type, is a combination of OSA and central sleep apnea.
The symptoms of OSA are similar to those of other conditions affecting sleep, like anxiety or depression. For this reason, a sleep breathing disorder may remain mis- or undiagnosed for years. The signs you or a loved one are dealing with sleep apnea include:
Often, it is the partner of the sleep apnea sufferer who recognizes a problem. A person who snores loudly and wakes up many times may not remember by the time morning comes, but their partner usually remembers the night of restless sleep all too well.
Therapy for sleep apnea begins by having the quality of your sleep evaluated in a sleep clinic. At the sleep clinic, you will be connected to devices that monitor your breath, pulse, rapid eye movement, and more. If you are uncomfortable visiting a sleep clinic, an at-home sleep test may be possible in some cases.
If the results from your sleep test indicate that you are suffering from sleep apnea, visit the Drs. Boyd for treatment for your sleep breathing disorder. We treat obstructive sleep apnea with a custom oral appliance. It’s a comfortable, effective alternative to the standard CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. The CPAP is hooked up to a face mask to force the airway open throughout the night by pumping air into the throat. Unfortunately, approximately half of patients dealing with sleep apnea do not find relief with the CPAP. These CPAP intolerant patients find the machine to be a noisy, uncomfortable method that interrupts their sleep as much or more as the original symptoms.
With the removable oral device, people with mild to moderate sleep apnea and those who are CPAP intolerant can find relief from their disruptive sleep. The Drs. Boyd create the custom device to reposition the jaw and tongue during sleep, preventing an airway collapse and allowing for the smooth flow of air throughout the night.
Who is most at risk for sleep apnea? What long-term consequences can this condition bring? What if your OSA treatment doesn’t seem to work? If you’ve ever been curious about these or other questions regarding sleep apnea, read our insightful FAQ page. The more informed you are about how this disorder works, the better equipped you will be to fight it and enjoy high-quality, rejuvenating shuteye every night.