Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a potentially fatal disorder that affects billions of people across the globe. OSA, which is more common than Central Sleep Apnea or CSA, can sometimes go unnoticed, especially if the person suffering sleeps alone.
What is Sleep Apnea?
According to Dr. Jack Ringer from Dental Cosmetics in Anaheim Hills, obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that relaxes the back of the throat causing breathing to cease as many as 30 times an hour. When this happens your brain wakes you up so that you can breathe normally again. Unfortunately, most people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are not aware that they have it as the moments are so brief that they just go back to sleep.
Signs that you may be suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea include, but are not limited to:
• Loud snoring, although snoring doesn’t necessarily mean you have OSA
• Breathing cessation while sleeping observed by someone else
• Waking up abruptly followed by a shortness of breath, a symptom of CSA
• Morning headaches
• Sore throat or dry mouth when you wake up
• Attention problems
• Excessive daytime sleepiness
OSA happens when your throat relaxes. Dr. Ringer explains that the muscles that support your soft palate, the uvula, the sidewalls of your throat, your tonsils, and your tongue begin to relax, and once that happens your airway will become narrow and close when you breathe. Because you aren’t able to get enough air, it can lower your blood oxygen levels forcing your brain to wake you up.
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
• Obese and overweight people are four times more likely to have OSA. Fat deposits around your neck and upper airway can make it difficult to breathe.
• People with large necks have a higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea. Men with a neck size of 17” or larger have a high risk of OSA as do women with a nick circumference of 15” or more.
• Narrow airways can also be to blame for OSA. Genetics can play a part in a narrow airway. Adenoids and tonsils can also get in the way if they become enlarged. This occurs quite a bit in children with OSA who have not had their tonsils removed.
• If you are a man, you are two times more likely to have OSA. However, after menopause, the risk increases in women.
• Age plays a factor in obstructive sleep apnea as it occurs more often in older people.
• Alcohol and sedative use will relax your throat and can cause obstructive sleep apnea. Cut down your drinking and talk to your doctor about switching medications.
• Smoking increases the risk of OSA with smokers three times as likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Smoking increases fluid retention and inflammation in your airway. This risk will most likely drop if you kick the habit.
• Nasal congestion could be to blame for your obstructive sleep apnea. If you can’t breathe through your nose, whether it is due to allergies or an anatomical issue, you increase your risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
• CPAP-In the past a CPAP machine was the only relief offered to patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Unfortunately, a CPAP device is uncomfortable and cumbersome. If you follow Dr. Ringers Blog, you will know that most patients stop using the device after a few months because of the bulkiness and inconvenience.
• Surgery-Surgery is another treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, but unfortunately is not often successful.
• Oral Appliance Therapy-The best treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is oral appliance therapy. With oral appliance therapy from Dental Cosmetics in Anaheim Hills, you don’t have to worry about a CPAP or recovering from surgery.
What is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy involves an appliance that fits like an orthodontic retainer or a sports mouthguard, and because it is custom made to fit, gets used more making it the most effective treatment for OSA.
Dr. Jack Ringer is a licensed and preferred provider of oral appliance therapy devices and can custom fit an oral appliance that will help you sleep better.
Sleep apnea can cause serious health issues including heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney problems, and even death.
If you believe that you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician who can refer you to a sleep specialist for an at home or on location sleep study.
If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ringer for a custom made oral appliance.
You really can sleep better with an oral appliance for obstructive sleep apnea. Call or click and schedule your oral appliance therapy appointment today.