There are many types of sleep disorders that make it difficult to get a sufficient amount of rest each day. Sleep apnea, which is defined as stoppages of breathing from 10 seconds up to a minute, is among the most common.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused by an airway obstruction due to septal deviation, enlarged tonsils or tongue, or enlarged neck circumference. Snoring is often present with obstructive apnea.
- Central Apnea results in stopped breathing due to the brain’s failure to send the lungs a message to breathe. This is less common than obstructive apnea and is generally caused by neurological abnormalities.
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
A thorough examination and sleep history will help define the appropriate treatment for sleep apnea. Many people fail to get help for apnea fearing they would be required to have an overnight sleep test and then be required to wear a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask to bed. This device continues to make a huge difference in the lives of those with severe apnea and masks are now more comfortable and machines are quieter. The adverse effects of not treating sleep apnea include but are not limited to pulmonary hypertension, stroke, heart attacks, or even sudden death.
Oral Mandibular Advancement Appliances are an excellent alternative for those with mild sleep apnea. A full evaluation by Dr. Wiggenhorn will determine if you are a candidate for a mandibular advancement appliance. These are worn during sleep and either a) move the lower jaw slightly forward or b) prevent the tongue from blocking the airway. These are customized to each patient and can be fitted in our office. Oral appliances are reported by patients as being comfortable to use and not as cumbersome nor claustrophobic as a CPAP machine.
Don’t delay in getting a good night’s rest – schedule an evaluation with us today!