Sleep Disordered Breathing
Interrupted sleep and Chronic snoring problems aren’t simple inconveniences when sleeping. Leaving untreated sleep apnea can eventually lead to more serious health risks. Sleep apnea may be a common but serious sleep disorder that causes interruptions in breathing during sleep.
During sleep, the combination of gravity and our muscles relaxing allows the tongue and surrounding soft tissues to fall back into the throat obstructing airflow in the airway. This causes pauses in breathing. These pauses are called apneas.
You may have heard about the term Apnea, which means without breath. A person may have partial pauses in breathing (hypopneas), or complete pauses (apneas) that last 10 seconds or longer during sleep. These pauses in breathing are often accompanied by a drop in blood oxygen level.
Because of the struggle to breathe and the drop in oxygen saturation will eventually cause the person to momentarily arouse, opening the throat allowing them to breathe again. Tho these arousals are brief and typically not remembered the next morning.
However, longer apneas may cause the sufferer to fully awaken to a frightening feeling of choking. This pattern can occur hundreds of times per night interrupting the body’s normal sleep cycle and preventing the deep, restorative sleep our bodies need.
Some of the short-term consequences of sleep apnea are excessive daytime sleepiness, lack of energy, poor concentration, irritability, slowed reflexes and an increased risk of accidents.
There are two treatments for this:
CPAP therapy is one of the most recommended treatment options for patients who have obstructive sleep apnea, in which not enough air reaches your lungs. CPAP therapy is also is used to treat infants whose lungs have not fully developed. The CPAP machine blows air into the baby’s nose to help inflate his or her lungs.
When you are prescribed a CPAP machine, you will work with your sleep technologist to make sure that the settings that are prescribed to you work best for you. It is every sleep technologist’s concern that the air pressure from the machine is just enough to keep your airway open while you sleep.
There are many kinds of CPAP machines and masks. So don’t be shy in letting your doctor and sleep technologist know that the type you’re working with isn’t the most comfortable.
The adjustment process for CPAP therapy is different for every patient. Some patients take months to adjust to CPAP therapy while others can take only a few days.
There is another treatment that is more convenient versus CPAP Machines:
- Oral Appliance Therapy
Sleep apnea often responds to oral appliance therapy, which prevents the conditions that cause airway blockage by holding the tongue or jaw in a forward position, keeping the soft tissues at the back of the throat out of the vicinity of the airway. The appliance feels similar to a mouthguard and is quite comfortable, which is why many patients prefer this treatment method over a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask that forces air into the airway to keep it open.
We best recommend the Prosmnus Sleep Technologies here in Vacaville Dental Care:
If you are looking for your options, we’d love to have a chat with you, contact us on 707-451-4100 or visit our clinic.