Rest Easy Every Night
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much to allow normal breathing. These muscles support structures including the back of the roof of your mouth (soft palate), the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula), the tonsils and the tongue.
When the muscles relax, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe in, stunting your breathing for 10 seconds or longer. This can lower the level of oxygen in your blood and cause a buildup of carbon dioxide.
Your brain senses this impaired breathing and briefly disturbs your sleep so that you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so brief that you don't remember it.
You can awaken with shortness of breath that corrects itself quickly, within one or two deep breaths. You might make a snorting, choking or gasping sound.
This pattern can repeat itself five to 30 times or more each hour, all night long. These disruptions impair your ability to reach the deep, restful phases of sleep, and you'll probably feel sleepy during your waking hours.
People with obstructive sleep apnea might not be aware of their interrupted sleep. Many people with this type of sleep apnea don't realize they haven't slept well all night
It’s important to treat sleep apnea, because it can have long-term consequences for your health. Several studies have shown an association between sleep apnea and problems like type 2 diabetes , strokes , heart attacks and even a shortened lifespan.
Signs and Symptoms
- Loud snoring
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Observed episodes of stopped breathing
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Acid reflux
- Poor memory
- Waking up several times at night
How do you treat sleep apnea?
One of the more traditional treatments for sleep apnea is a device called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This device pumps humidified air into a mask that you wear over your nose and mouth while you sleep. The pressure of the air keeps your airway open, enabling oxygen to freely flow in and out.
Many people, however, find the CPAP to be obstructive and difficult to sleep with, which is why we offer alternative treatment
Mandibular advancement device
This is a custom-fitted mouthpiece, much like an athletic mouth guard, that you wear on your teeth while you sleep. It’s designed to gently push your lower jaw slightly forward, which opens up your airway and mitigates apneic episodes