Understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea often causes patients to partially or completely wake during their sleep, struggling for air. For patients with OSA, muscles in the tongue or throat can relax and cause the airway to collapse, partially or completely blocking airflow. Breathing can stop for only a couple of seconds to a whole minute, and can occur hundreds of time a night. The body has a natural response to wake when an obstruction occurs. However, patients can still suffer effects from lack of proper oxygen. In addition, these frequent interruptions in breathing often cause fatigue, which can have significant effects on various aspects of your health.
Common Symptoms and Effects
Snoring is one of the most common symptoms of OSA and can become extremely severe, affecting both your sleep and the quiet night's rest of those around you. If you do not snore, you may still wake during the night, gasping and choking. These signs occur as your body forces you awake to restart breathing. Other symptoms can include sore throat, headache, irritability, and behavioral shifts.
Unfortunately, OSA can lead to significant health issues. If you are suffering from this condition, you will typically suffer from chronic fatigue, affecting your everyday abilities and quality of life. The condition has also been linked to issues with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, complications with medications, and liver problems. In addition, patients who have OSA are at a much higher risk of heart problems and high blood pressure, which can prove deadly.
If you are suffering from any signs of the condition, do not hesitate to pursue a diagnosis so you can begin building an effective treatment plan.
Comprehensive Plans for Treatment
Our office will typically work alongside your personal physician to provide treatment and education on lifestyle changes that can improve your overall health. Dr. Mormino can also provide a customized oral appliance for effective, non-invasive treatment. To receive an appliance, we will first take detailed measurements and scans of your airway, jaw, tongue, and teeth. We can use this information to design a custom oral appliance that you would typically wear at night. This oral device will gently shift the lower jaw to a forward position. This subtle repositioning can prevent the tissues from collapsing during the night. With an oral appliance, you can begin to notice significant changes in your ability to sleep and your quality of life.
Find Relief Today
If you are suffering from any signs of the condition, do not hesitate to pursue a diagnosis so you can begin building an effective treatment plan. Contact our practice today if you are experiencing any symptoms. We can help determine which course of sleep apnea treatment is right for you.