Sleep Apnea and Snoring
People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels. When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway and airflow stops. When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp. Snoring is similar but with less serious health risks.
Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation lead to very serious cardiovascular problems. Additionally, these individuals suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration.
Some patients have obstructions that are less severe called Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). In either case, the individuals suffer many of the same symptoms.
Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatment
The first step in treatment for sleep apnea and snoring resides in recognition of the symptoms and seeking appropriate consultation. Often this begins with a referral from us to your physician and/or a sleep medicine specialist.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea and Snoring
There are several treatment options available. An initial treatment may consist of using a nasal CPAP machine that delivers pressurized oxygen through a nasal mask to limit obstruction at night. CPAP therapy is still the “gold standard” of care. For some patients however, the CPAP machine is not feasible, or is inconvenient such as for travel. For those people, we can often help by making an oral device that opens the airway. We would work in conjunction with your medical doctors. Oral devices can be helpful for both apnea, and snoring.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a very serious condition that needs careful attention and treatment. Most major medical plans offer coverage for diagnosis and treatment.