Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Obstructive sleep apnea is a debilitating sleep–related breathing disorder defined as the cessation of breathing for 10 seconds or more (apnea is a Greek word meaning “without air”). During sleep, the body’s muscles relax causing the soft tissue of the airway to collapse, obstructing the airway. The body reacts to the closure of the airway by disrupting sleep enough to start breathing again, but deprives the sufferer of getting a “good night’s sleep”.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) afflicts over 40 million Americans. Untreated, OSA can lead to heart disease, strokes and excessive daytime sleepiness. Did you know that it is estimated that over 100,000 people are killed or injured each year in crashes attributed to a driver who has fallen asleep at the wheel?
At least 80 million Americans snore (snoring is a sign of restricted airflow and impeded breathing during sleep), which can result in excessive day–time sleepiness, adversely affect the sleep quality if the snorer’s bed partner, and diminish the overall quality of life.
Treatment of OSA & Snoring
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine now recommends oral appliances as a front line of treatment for snoring and sleep apnea, and in cases where CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) has not been tolerated. What people like about oral appliances is that they fit entirely inside the mouth, they are portable, they do not use electricity or make noise that would bother a sleeping partner, and they allow the wearer to change sleep positions.