Snoring, Sleep Apnea & The CPAP Alternative

Snoring is a breathing related sleep disorder that can cause social problems for spouse and family. While snoring may be a good indicator of sleep apnea, the two are not the same. When the airway gets narrowed and obstructed the structures in the throat vibrate. Snoring can get so loud as to arouse one from sleep. This may be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Most people who suffer from snoring and sleep apnea are unaware of the severity of their situation.

Sleep ApneaObstructive Sleep Apnea is characterized by the cessation of breathing for more than ten seconds. These incidences can happen many times per hour and hundreds of times in a night’s sleep. When breathing stops the snoring stops… until the sleeper gasps for air. They will awaken briefly interrupting their sleep patterns and in the morning will have no memory of these incidences. People with sleep apnea have a higher association with high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes, and chronic daytime sleepiness. It has been found that daytime sleepiness can be attributed to many auto accidents.

Our office has a monitor that you can use at home to screen your sleep for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. However, the diagnosis of Sleep Apnea is usually made by a sleep specialist (M.D.) who may perform a sleep study (polysomnogram). The most common treatment is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). The CPAP user wears a snug fitting mask that allows an air compressor to force air into the airway. The pressurized air keeps the airway open allowing the person to sleep. Patient acceptance and usage is varied. Many find it cumbersome and troublesome. For those who are CPAP intolerant, there may be an alternative.

The CPAP Alternative -The CPAP Alternative

Oral appliances are effective for many people. For those diagnosed with mild or moderate OSA, oral appliances have a high level of success and are accepted by the Sleep Medicine community. Oral Appliances move the jaw forward. By doing so in an appropriate fashion, muscles and soft tissues of the upper airway tighten preventing obstruction and breathing occurs. Snoring and sleep apnea are managed.

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are not able or willing to use a CPAP, call our office to discuss ‘The CPAP Alternative’.



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