Sleep apnea is a condition in which patients repeatedly stop breathing for brief periods while they are asleep. This can occur because the airway opening is obstructed by soft tissues at the back of the throat (obstructive) or because signals from the brain to maintain respiration are interrupted (central).
The symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea may include:
Patients should keep track of such symptoms to determine whether they should complete a sleep study and seek further treatment.
If you have an obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis that has been confirmed through a sleep study, you should consult with a sleep apnea specialist like Dr. Burton to be evaluated for possible treatment.
Sleep apnea is associated with a host of significant health conditions, including high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and obesity, among others. Patients who have sleep apnea even appear to face a higher risk of dying suddenly and unexpectedly. Therefore, getting sleep apnea treatment can have dramatic positive effects on your health.
Additionally, sleep apnea treatment will address other issues, such as mood and energy levels, which can influence your quality of life, along with your health.
Oral appliance therapy uses a small device that is similar to a mouthguard or a bite splint to hold the patient’s jaw in a forward position. This, in turn, keeps the soft tissues at the rear of the throat away from the airway opening and reduces the chances of obstruction.
Oral appliance therapy is highly effective in mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea and can help patients avoid an uncomfortable CPAP mask.