Do you often feel as if you could use a nap in the morning AND the afternoon? People with sleep apnea rarely get a good night of rest, leading to routine fatigue during the day. Sleep apnea is an underdiagnosed medical condition that interrupts normal sleep during the night, making you feel drowsy and irritable from the moment you wake up. Fortunately, our doctors offer sleep apnea therapy with a simple oral appliance that, when worn consistently during the night, alleviates the breathing problems associated with sleep apnea.
If sleep apnea only deprived you (and the person one pillow over) of restful sleep each night, then that would be reason enough to seek treatment. However, that’s only the beginning of problems associated with the condition.
Sleep apnea episodes can occur dozens of time each night, and every time, your breathing is interrupted. These pauses in breathing can last for several seconds and often end with a loud snort or cough to restart breathing. Although you may have no recollection of these episodes in the morning, your body and brain do in fact slightly awaken each time. The cumulative effect, therefore, can mean hours and hours of lost sleep night after night.
Unfortunately, research shows that sleep apnea can also aggravate or initiate other concerning medical conditions. For example, when breathing stops—even for a few seconds—the oxygen level in your blood decreases. This in turn signals your heart to work harder in order to send enough oxygenated blood to vital organs. As a result, hypertension—high blood pressure—often develops, potentially leading to other cardiovascular illnesses such as heart disease and strokes.
Other medical conditions that have been linked to sleep apnea are:
Additionally, sleep apnea is often the underlying cause of many automobile accidents. A sleepy driver is a dangerous driver, which makes sleep apnea therapy important for you, the passengers in your car, and other drivers on the road.
The most common form of this medical condition is obstructive sleep apnea. In this case, the back of your tongue and other soft tissues in your throat obstruct your airway. This obstruction is what causes snoring; as air moves past constricted tissue, that loud and annoying sound ensues.
For years, the only treatment for obstructive sleep apnea was a CPAP—Continuous Positive Air Pressure—machine. However, the mask that must be worn with a CPAP machine is uncomfortable for many patients, and the noises the machinery makes can be difficult to live with. Today, Tamborello Dental Associates can design a custom-made oral appliance that gently shifts your lower jaw forward instead. This small movement opens the airway so you can breathe easily and sleep peacefully. Worn nightly, an oral appliance can eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnea and help you avoid other illnesses and diseases.