October 8th, 2010
Sleep disorders are fairly common, with around 50 to 70 million Americans being affected by some type chronic sleep disorder, and some of these progressing to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which can cause loss of sleep among many other health problems. What ages get sleep apnea? Those under age four (large tonsils) and those between the ages of 55 to 59. Snoring is one of the most easily identified symptoms, and as it worsens it can lead to full airway blockage while you sleep, which can severely disrupt your sleep patterns.
Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical problem that if left untreated can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart failure and stroke. It can also take a toll on your overall energy level, as sleep apnea causes an ongoing state of fatigue.
There are several different approaches to sleep apnea treatment, including:
• Surgery to the jaws or airway tissue to open the airway. This is typically only used in the most severe cases.
• Continuous airway pressure therapy which involves a mask and machine (CPAP machine) to keep your throat muscles and tissue open while sleeping
• Oral appliance therapy, a less intrusive method involving a customized oral device that positions your jaw in a favorable position to keep your airway open while you sleep.
If you suspect that you may suffer from a sleep disorder or sleep apnea, give us a call and we can refer you to a sleep apnea specialist. Depending on your situation, treatment may involve an oral device that we can custom-create for you.