Obstructive sleep apnea is a debilitating and potentially dangerous condition for many individuals. Sleep apnea results in poor sleep, a myriad of health conditions and may ultimately end in death. Individuals with sleep apnea stop breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of time, depriving the brain of much needed oxygen. This results in extreme tiredness, stress and can also lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, diabetes, depression and headaches. At the very least, it can affect a person’s day to day living by interfering with work, family and social interaction. In the worst situations, individuals have fallen asleep at the wheel and caused harm to themselves and others.
The obstruction occurs in individuals whose airway is blocked by the tongue and palate as they try to sleep. It is important that these individuals are referred to a sleep center, headed by a physician, for a sleep study or somnogram. After the results of the somnogram have been determined, the physician will most likely prescribe the use of a CPAP machine at a prescribed rate and pressure. The CPAP is calibrated to “force” air into the lungs through a face mask that is worn through the night as the patient sleeps. In the unfortunate circumstance that the patient cannot tolerate the CPAP device, an appliance can be fabricated that advances the lower jaw and maintains an open airway. These are titrated or adjusted for maximum comfort while maintaining maximum airflow.
If you are experiencing sleep difficulties or cannot use a CPAP device, call us for a consultation.