Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a breathing disorder, occurring while you sleep, due to the narrowing or blocking of your airway. When your brain detects your blocked airway, and a lack of oxygen, it prompts a momentary arousal for you to draw breath. Many who suffer from OSA have no memory of these episodes occurring while they sleep, and may be completely unaware of their condition if they sleep alone.
OSA is a serious medical condition that can impact the quality of your life. Consider the following:
– Regular snorers have a 33% increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
– Those who suffer from OSA are four times more likely to have a heart attack.
– 40-80% of stroke sufferers also suffer from OSA.
What are the symptoms of OSA?
Ask yourself these questions if you think you might be suffering from OSA:
– Do you and your partner sleep in separate rooms due to loud snoring?
– Do you dose off unintentionally during the day?
– Do you often wake up feeling tired or having a headache?
– Do you have problems concentrating for long periods of time?
If you feel you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea there are treatment options that are available to you by your medical doctor and by our office, depending on severity and patient preference. Medical doctors usually treat OSA with the use of a CPAP device which is worn externally over the patient’s airway while sleeping. It provides a positive air pressure into the airway that keeps it open. Another alternative available through our clinic, is the use of a mandibular advancement splint (MAS). This appliance treats snoring and mild to moderate OSA by moving the lower jaw forward slightly. This forward positioning opens the airway more effectively while you sleep, thus reducing the obstruction of air flow. One of the first steps in properly diagnosing and treating OSA is to have a sleep study performed. This can be done in an overnight sleep lab, or with a home sleep testing unit, which our clinic can provide.
If you currently have OSA or have problems with snoring, we would be happy to schedule an exam and consultation to discuss your treatment options. Soon you could be experiencing a much better night’s sleep, more daytime energy, and have a significant reduction in the debilitating and sometimes life-threatening conditions associated with sleep apnea.