Obstructive sleep apnea and snoring treatment
Obstructive sleep apnea can have a negative impact on your health and how well you sleep. Although many people go undiagnosed, it’s important to seek out sleep apnea treatment for greater health and a good night’s sleep. In addition to sleep apnea, snoring while you sleep can also contribute to poor health.
Sleep Apnea Snoring
Chronic snoring occurs at night regardless of the sleeper’s position. Many times, chronic snoring is so severe, it disrupts the sleep patterns of everyone in the household. Severe snoring is both relentless and loud. For those who sleep next to someone who snores, it can be quite disturbing.
Snoring is a sleep disorder caused when the muscles and soft tissue in the throat and mouth relax, making the airway smaller, resulting in vibrations during breathing. Snoring can be more than just loud noises and bothersome to others. It can be serious enough to cause a stroke. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than half of all strokes in the US are caused by plaque buildup in the carotid arteries, known as atherosclerosis.
Snoring causes vibrations, which can damage the cells in artery walls. This triggers the early formation of atherosclerosis, which sets the stage for the buildup of plaque within the artery. A stroke occurs when the artery is blocked by a blood clot which is formed from the buildup of plaque or when a piece of plaque breaks loose and becomes wedged in your brain.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
When a person stops breathing while sleeping, the oxygen concentration in their blood stream is lowered. Over time, this lack of oxygen contributes to health problems. Every time you stop breathing, your brain causes you to briefly wake up. This can occur hundreds of times a night causing fragmented sleep which in turn results in poor sleep quality. Because the body’s healing process occurs during the deep sleep stage, one can’t properly heal themselves if not receiving the proper amount of deep sleep.
The most common type of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea . Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway which is usually at the base of the tongue. The soft tissue in the rear of the throat can also collapse and close during sleep. In the past, Sleep Apnea was thought to affect only over-weight people but in fact anyone can have obstructive sleep apnea.
Common signs of sleep apnea are:
- Loud snoring
- Choking or gasping during sleep
- Morning headaches
- Gastro-Esophageal Reflux (GERD)
- Concentration difficulty
- Mood swings or personality changes
- Daytime sleepiness
- Sleepiness while driving
Obstructed Sleep Apnea left untreated can cause:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Memory problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Congestive heart failure
- Other health related problems
Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment
A treatment for sleep apnea that many people are most familiar with is a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure and can help people with sleep apnea breathe more easily and regularly every night while they are sleeping.
Unfortunately, many people have a CPAP intolerance or just don’t like sleeping with the machine. Fortunately, there is a less invasive alternative to treat sleep apnea and snoring.
Following a thorough evaluation, a sleep apnea doctor will make a custom oral appliance to wear while sleeping. The appliance is fitted over the upper and lower teeth to help move the lower jaw forward and reposition the tongue, soft palate, and the hyoid bone. This increases the size of the upper airway and reduces air resistance that leads to sleep apnea and snoring.
If you think you may have sleep apnea or a loved one is complaining about your snoring, there is help. Contact us for an evaluation with Dr. Busciglio and look forward to better health and more restful sleep.
Bay Area TMJ and Sleep Center is located in Brandon, Florida and serves patients across Tampa Bay.