Do you or your loved one snore?

Sleep

Healthy sleep is essential for optimal health, performance and safety. Sleep works for you so that you can perform your best on the job. When you don’t get the recommended hours of sleep each night, there can be serious consequences. Without sleep you can’t form or maintain the pathways in your brain that let you learn and create new memories, and it’s harder to concentrate and respond quickly.


Snoring


Snoring is the often loud or harsh sound that can occurs during sleep when breathing is blocked. It happens when the flow of air during breathing makes the tissues in the back of your throat vibrate. Snoring may be a symptom for a more serious problem which is sleep apnea. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Your physician or dentist can help if you or a loved one snores.

Sleep Apnea


Sleep apnea is a common and serious breathing disorder. This disorder causes breathing to stop or get very shallow. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. According to NIH there are up to 18 million adult Americans who has sleep apnea.The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. It causes the airway to collapse or become blocked during sleep. Normal breathing starts again with a snort or choking sound. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly. When breathing stops or repeatedly interrupted, the brain and the body becomes oxygen deprived. This may happen a few times a night, or in more severe cases, several hundred times a night. The lack of oxygen to the body can have negative long-term health consequences. This includes:

• High blood pressure

• Heart disease

• Stroke

• Pre-diabetes and diabetes

• Depression

• Serious car accidents. According to NIH there are about 5000-6000 fatal crashes due to drowsy drivers every year.

                                                              Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:


• Snoring

• Excessive daytime sleepiness

• Morning headache

• Depression or mood changes.

• Choking or gasping while you sleep

• Pauses in breathing

• Frequent need to urinate during the night

• Waking up feeling tired.


Links

http://www.sleepapnea.org/

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea/

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea:

CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure) is the most common treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea in adults. A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over your mouth and nose, or just over your nose.

Oral appliance is an effective treatment option for people with mild- moderate sleep apnea. The appliance is custom made by a trained dentist. It works by repositioning the lower jaw, tongue forward and open the airway to facilitate breathing. The device is custom made to fit in the mouth more or less like a sports guard. The oral appliance may also be recommended for patients moderate to severe OSA who is intolerant to CPAP machine. There are different types of oral appliances available. You dentist will help you get the right type for you.

Surgery: Upper airway surgery is a potential treatment when other options are unsuccessful in eliminating the symptoms of sleep apnea or are not tolerated by patients the type of surgery and how well it works depend on the cause of the sleep apnea.

Life style changes which include weight loss, avoid alcohol consumption, sleep on your side instead of your back and quit smoking.