Effective Sleep Apnea and Snoring Therapy Options
Snoring. Feeling exhausted. Keeping your partner awake at night. Losing focus at work. About 90 million Americans experience some form of snoring or sleep apnea, according to the National Sleep Foundation. While snoring can be annoying, it is relatively harmless as long as it’s just snoring. Often, snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, which can be a deadly condition.
What is Sleep Apnea? – Sleep apnea, by definition, is the failure to achieve oronasal airflow for at least 10 seconds at a time while sleeping. These brief interruptions in your breathing can occur five to 10 times per hour in people who have sleep apnea.
- Types of Sleep Apnea – There are two main types of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
- Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. The cessation of breathing is caused by the tongue, tonsils, or fatty tissue in the throat blocking a person’s airway into their lungs.
- Central sleep apnea is brought on by a brainstem injury, such as a viral brain infection, brain tumor, stroke, or chronic respiratory disease. It is caused by the brain failing to signal the body to breathe.
- Treating Sleep Apnea – For many sleep apnea patients, correction is simple. We offer sleep apnea treatment with a custom-made device, the Silent Nite appliance, that is comfortable, flexible, and thin, loosely resembling a retainer. This device gently opens your airway by shifting your lower jaw forward.Oral devices do not work for everyone. Another treatment option is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Compressed air flows through tubes connected from a mask to a small box, which keeps the patient’s air passages open and enables them to continue normal breathing while sleeping. Severe sleep apnea sufferers may require a surgical procedure.
- Causes and Risk Factors Associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Nasal blockage or congestion caused by sinusitis, smoking, allergies, or the common cold.
- Obesity is considered a risk factor for sleep apnea, even though half of people diagnosed with OSA are not overweight.
- Large tonsils or adenoids.
- Throat and tongue muscles that relax more than normal during sleep. This can be caused by age, alcohol, or sedatives.
- Certain physical attributes, such as the shape of the neck and head, deviated septum, receding chin, or enlarged tongue.
- Signs of Sleep Apnea – How do you know if you have sleep apnea and might benefit from the Silent Nite appliance or other treatment options? Look for these signs:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping and/or choking during sleep
- Frequent silences during sleep
- Sudden awakenings
- Complaints from your sleeping partner
- Never feeling completely rested
- The Dangers of Sleep Apnea – Patients who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea deprive their brains of oxygen while sleeping, which can cause more serious health problems down the road. Those problems include:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Learning/memory problems
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Gastric reflux
Make an Appointment
If you think you or your spouse may be suffering from sleep apnea, please get in touch with the team at the LANAP and Implant Center right away. You can reach our Collegeville office at 610-228-4366 and our Williamsport office at 570-505-6908. You can also send us a message using our online contact form. We will be happy to help you find the right sleep apnea solution for you!