Sleep Apnea & Snoring Therapy

SLEEP APNEA THERAPY

Obstructive sleep apnea is the cessation of airflow despite adequate effort to breathe. It is a medical disorder. It is estimated to affect approximately 2% to 4% of the population. Strained respiration, decreased blood oxygen levels, and arousals that interrupt a normal sleep pattern characterize this syndrome. Many cases present a significant health risk and can result in excessive daytime sleepiness, early morning headaches, cerebrovascular disease and high blood pressure. In children, impaired ability to concentrate may lead to learning disorders. Whereas almost all patients with obstructive sleep apnea exhibit snoring, not all those who snore have apneic episodes.

Also referred to as obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome, this condition occurs as the base of the tongue periodically occludes the upper airway during sleep. Enlarged tonsils may also compromise the airway. Removal of enlarged tonsils in children may alleviate obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliances have been used since 1934 by posturing the mandible forward, thereby advancing the tongue and opening the posterior airway space. FDA clearance has been achieved for multiple appliances for this use.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the treatment of choice in improving many respiratory disturbances. However, many patients are unable to tolerate this treatment, and randomized trials report patient preference for oral appliances.

It is generally accepted that treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliances is a viable option for those patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome.

SNORING THERAPY

Snoring affects millions of people of all ages, both male and female. Oral appliances are frequently used in the treatment of snoring problems.

What makes the sound of snoring?

Snoring is caused by the vibration of your posterior palate; these vibrations occur because of narrow air passages. When air passes through these passages, a “flapping” sound occurs because the tissue is soft in nature. Loud snorers may have a more serious case of blocked air passages, known as apnea.