Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax and block your airway. Your inability to breathe is sensed by the brain and awakens you briefly to allow you to reopen your airway. You may make a snorting or gasping sound just before you begin breathing again. This pattern can repeat itself from five to forty times per hour all night long.
Risk factors associated with obstructive sleep apnea may include:
- Excess weight—fat deposits around the upper airway
- Large neck circumference—thick neck
- Narrow airway—inherited, presence of tonsils and/or adenoids
- Adult over sixty
- Use of alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers, which relax the muscles in the neck
- Smoking—three times more likely to have OSA than nonsmokers
- Nasal congestion
Complications from obstructive sleep apnea may include:
- High blood pressure
- Increase risk of stroke
- Increase risk of heart attack
- Daytime fatigue
- Night Sweats
- Personality changes—irritability, moodiness
- Falling asleep while driving or watching television
- Sleep deprived partners
- Complications following surgery
Diagnosis—a physician or sleep specialist should be seen to confirm the disorder if symptoms are
- CPAP machine which, with a mask, forces air through your airway while you sleep
- Oral appliance for patients who cannot tolerate the CPAP machine
- Soft palate pillar insertion
Oral Appliance Therapy uses a custom appliance made by a dentist with sleep apnea training that
holds the lower jaw and tongue in a forward position in order to open the airway. It is
tolerated well and convenient for travel.
Indications for oral appliance therapy:
- Mild to moderate and in some cases severe obstructive sleep apnea
- Poor tolerance or compliance with nasal CPAP
- Failure or lack of other options (positional therapy, weight loss where indicated, and
Dr. Kirshenbaum is trained in snoring and sleep apnea treatment.
Call for a complimentary consult.