Click below for our Patient Info form:
Click below for Privacy Practices form:
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where there is a 10 second or longer interval in between each breath. Sleep apnea increases the risks of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and many more negative health effects, as well as motor vehicle accidents.
To be considered apneic, there must also be a neurological arousal, which is a change in EEG frequency of more than 3 seconds, and the blood oxygen must be desaturated by 3-4% or more. A significant case of sleep apnea has 5 or more of these apneic episodes each hour.
Millions of people today suffer from sleep apnea, and most of them are unaware of it. Side-effects such as drowsiness, headaches and fatigue may lead a person to look for the root cause of their problems. Yet, it can be tricky to determine if you have sleep apnea since the symptoms occur while you are asleep, and can easily be mistaken for other, more common and less serious ailments.
Our modern world is responsible for many negative health problems. As a result, simply waking up and feeling unrested can be linked to many causes. Fortunately, more and more attention is being given to a healthy night of sleep, as evidenced by Arianna Huffington’s New York Times bestselling book, The Sleep Revolution. Still, sleep disorders can go on for many years without being identified.
One simple test is to see how tired you get when you are bored. If you’ve spent six or seven hours the previous night, seemingly asleep, and yet get tired relatively quickly during the day, chances are you have a sleep disorder.
Obviously, nighttime is the best time to check for sleep apnea symptoms. Sensible changes to lifestyle habits like reducing or abstaining from alcohol, narcotics and cigarettes can give you a better night sleep and help symptoms be more easily identified. If you have a spouse or partner that sleeps beside you, ask them to monitor your breathing while sleep. If you consistently stop breathing for stretches during the night, this is an obvious indication of sleep apnea. Keeping a sleep journal or recording yourself with a tape recorder have also proven to be useful tools.
The information you gather can help you make a decision about seeking professional help. If you decide to see a doctor, make sure he or she is an expert in the field of dental sleep medicine so that you receive an accurate diagnosis. A good nights sleep may be closer than you think. For more information about sleep apnea, give us call today.
Two of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea are snoring and sleepiness. In many cases, someone close to the sufferer, such as a spouse, can provide valuable information since the symptoms occur during sleep.
A person may even think of themselves as good sleepers because they can easily fall asleep. However, sleepiness is a potentially dangerous characteristic of apnea. Motor vehicle and other accidents can happen as a result of drowsiness from the condition.
Properly diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea is important because when it goes untreated, it can result in debilitating health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, depression and coronary artery disease. The inability to sleep is a growing concern in modern society, especially with people who are stressed. Many people respond by taking sleeping pills, which can mask the symptoms of sleep disorders. They often forego medical advice and attribute their sleeping challenges to stress at work or home.
Although sleeping pills might give you temporary relief, the remedy for this disorder can’t be solved with pills. The first steps often involve changing your lifestyle. Smoking, drinking alcohol or any other stimulants that are known to cause sleeping troubles can also make it tougher for you to keep your throat open while sleeping. Sleeping on your side can help keep your throat open.
If you have trouble sleeping and believe it is due to a temporary inability to breathe while asleep, or you’re having a tough time breathing, you should immediately seek a medical professional. If throughout the day you feel excessive sleepiness, have an unusually slow reaction time or experience vision issues, you should also consult with a health professional since these are telltale symptoms of sleep apnea.
Mild cases of apnea can be corrected by losing weight through diet and exercise. For severe cases, surgery is an option. Surgery involves removing a blockage of the airway and allowing your breathing to return to normal. For individuals that suffer from snoring or mild to moderate sleep apnea, oral appliances or mouthpieces are growing in popularity because they offer a simpler, more patient friendly solution than surgery or CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines. An oral appliance device, like the TAP® (Thornton Adjustable Positioner), works by repositioning the lower jaw in a forward position, which keeps the airway open and improves breathing while sleeping.
The TAP® mouthpiece comes with a small tool that allows the patient to “fine-tune” the position of their jaw at home. The TAP® has a 96% success rate, can eliminate the need for surgery, masks, sleeping pills and can lead to a restful nights sleep immediately.
If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can increase the chance of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. Depending on the severity of your condition, changes in lifestyle and a an oral appliance device have been proven in multiple studies to effectively correct this sleep disorder. Contact Kentuckiana Dental Sleep Group for more information.
Snoring is a problem that affects over two-thirds of adults. What is also shocking is that it can be a life-threatening condition. It is responsible for countless hours of lost sleep and productivity – for both snorers and their partners. Aside from the obvious difficulties of having a partner that snores, snoring can lead to serious health problems for the sufferer.
The sound of someone snoring is due to the tissue at the back of the roof of the mouth vibrating against the back of the throat. The sound that is heard generally comes from the back of the airway and not the nose. Simply put, snoring happens one a person’s airway is partially obstructed.
Snoring tends to be a strong sign of the condition known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes breathing to stop for a period of ten seconds or more. One of the primary risks associated with snoring is a reduced amount of oxygen reaching bloodstream. This oxygen deprivation affects the brain since the person stops breathing for a period of time. Other risks that can be caused or aggravated by this type of sleeping disorder include strokes, high blood pressure, concentration issues, heart related diseases, memory problems and sexual dysfunction.
Other causes of snoring and sleep apnea include obesity, large adenoids or tonsils, having a deviated nasal septum or an enlarged tongue, nasal blockage or congestion because of a cold, allergy and smoking. In addition, you are likely to suffer from snoring sleep apnea if you have a throat and tongue that have a tendency to relax more than normal while sleeping. Alcohol and age can also cause snoring sleep apnea.
Another less obvious side-effect of snoring that has come to light is low self-esteem. Though it’s not surprising as we learn more about the debilitating effects of persistent poor sleep. As you can see, snoring is not something to be taken lightly. If you discover that you suffer from heavy snoring, seek a medical professional who specializes in snoring and sleep apnea.
CPAP complications range from runny noses to face breakouts. It’s no wonder that the CPAP success rate is less than 50%. The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, commonly referred to as CPAP, has long been considered as one the best options for treating sleep apnea and breathing conditions. In fact, CPAP was often your doctor or dental sleep expert’s first choice for treating sleep apnea and snoring.
Under the above procedure, the sleep apnea patient is required to wear a specially designed mask. Typically, air is pumped through the nasal passages. The steady stream of air prevents the throat from collapsing while the person is sleeping. It allows the patient to breathe freely with no more worries of non-breathing episodes.
While CPAP is considered one of the safest and most painless treatments, there are a host of problems and side effects associated with it. Although, the issues are minor compared to the risk factors of not treating the condition, they often lead to non-compliance. The following are some of the problems commonly experienced while using the above treatment plan:
4 Common Equipment Problems with CPAP
1. Patient’s has trouble complying with CPAP directives
When used properly, CPAP can be a successful sleep apnea therapy. However, most patients under the above treatment procedure have trouble complying with some simple directives. In fact, one of the latest surveys indicates that only 23 to 45 percent of patients have had success while using a CPAP. The reason for the poor results is not a mystery. It is simply very hard for many to stick to a nightime ritual that requires patients to wear a mask over their mouth and nose all night! Indeed, most people using the above device have been known to be wear it for 4 hours or less per night.
2. Air pressure related problems
The air pressure from the CPAP makes some patients feel like it is hard to breathe in and out. Typically, they experience the feeling of suffocating or choking, while others swallow air, thus increasing the risk of burping. Some, but not all, devices are equipped with a ramp feature that slowly ramps up the air pressure from a low to the standard pressure. This negative experience alone can result in your doctor or sleep specialist to suggest another solution.
Most CPAP devices have been specially designed to work quietly and any noticeable noise should be soft and rhythmic. However, some devices produce noise that bother users to the point of actually interfering with sleep. If this is the case, and the problem is not a faulty air filter and another device-related problem, you have to get clever. Perhaps, start looking for a white-noise sound machine or earplugs.
4. Mask leaks
Quite often, CPAP masks will leak air. When this happens, the patient does not get the proper amount of the air pressure. Besides that, leaks can lead to eye or skin irritation. Despite the fact that subtle leaks do not stop the device from producing the correct amount of air pressure, such leak cause shrill sounds that disturb the sleep of other inhabitants in the room. Several factors can make a mask leak. To avoid such leaks, and many are easily fixed, but dealing with straps that are too tight or loose or trying to fix the leak with moisturizer are often just one more headache that the CPAP poses for patients.
4 Common CPAP Side effects
1. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is caused either by the CPAP itself or from the patient breathing through the mouth at night. Getting a device that has a heated humidifier can work in some cases. However, dry mouth may persist and a different type of mask or the use of a chinstrap to keep the mouth closed may be tried.
2. Stomach discomfort and bloating
Air pressure from a CPAP machine that has not been set up correctly can cause stomach bloating and pain. As soon as you feel these side effects, you are advised to talk to your doctor or sleep specialist immediately. In Typically, he/she may adjust the settings of your device to relieve the above effects.
3. A runny nose, sinusitis, nosebleeds, sneezing, and congestion
Any of the above effects can occur while using a CPAP. In these cases, a fix might include a system that is equipped with a heated humidifier. Typically though, some people have found that they must tolerate the side-effects or experiment with solutions for them like a saline nasal spray.
4. Skin irritation and mask allergies
CPAP masks have been known to cause skin irritation and allergies. If this condition occurs, patients will likely be offered a better fitting mask and special nasal pillows. Nasal pillows are small, flexible, and mushroom-shaped cones that are placed into each nostril in an effort to alleviate the irritations.
As you can see, the CPAP is not without its problems. Interested in a simpler, less expensive solution to sleep apnea and snoring? Contact Kentuckiana Dental Sleep Group today so that we can help you determine what form of treatment is right for you.