Sleep Apnea / Snoring
It is very possible that you will be affected by snoring from time to time. It may be you who snores or a partner. When snoring is loud and occurs on a nightly basis, the problem may be more than a nuisance, it could be risky to health. Snoring is often written off as an irritating habit. What it may really be, however, is obstructive sleep apnea. Although the two sound very similar, their overall effects differ significantly.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a recognized sleep disorder
that poses a threat to health and to life. What separates obstructive sleep apnea from snoring is the complete blockage of airflow and a significant drop in oxygen to your brain and heart. To the listener, obstructive sleep apnea sounds like loud snoring marked by moments of silence. These breaks in sound, which may last several seconds, indicate that breathing has stopped due to a physical obstruction in the airway.
Because the pauses in the sound of snoring mean no air is moving this condition is very alarming to health care providers. Often, a person with sleep apnea will stop breathing hundreds of times a night. During apnea episodes, the delivery of oxygen to the brain ceases. To resume breathing, the body naturally produces a strong shot of adrenaline. This increases the heart rate and blood pressure and rouses sleep just enough for breathing to start. The sleeper, all the while, may never fully wake.
Due to similarities between obstructive sleep apnea and chronic snoring, the condition can be difficult to diagnose. Typically, this is because the patient does not seek treatment, considering the problem to be snoring and nothing more. Additional signs that will tell you professional care is needed include morning headaches, poor memory, persistent irritability or mood swings, chronic fatigue, and chronic sore throat.
Professional care is needed to minimize the detrimental effects of obstructive sleep apnea. Traditionally, medicine has treated obstructive sleep apnea with CPAP therapy. This form of care requires the patient to wear a facemask while sleeping. Air is forced through this mask and into the airway, the positive pressure of forced air keeps the airway open. CPAP therapy is effective when compliance is high. The problem is that forced air and the facemask is often uncomfortable and they feel unattractive so patient compliance may suffer.
Dr. Nathan Pfister has treated many patients for obstructive sleep apnea
with holistic dental care. Comfortable and effective, oral appliance therapy is a wonderful alternative to conventional CPAP treatment for this condition. Through the nightly wear of a customized, compact oral appliance, the jaw is properly positioned to sustain airflow. Due to comfort and a discreet form, oral appliance therapy has a high rate of compliance and a high rate of success.
Optimal health and wellness require adequate sleep. If you or a loved one is losing sleep and exhibiting the signs of obstructive sleep apnea, we can help. Contact your holistic dentist near Panama City, Florida for more information on this concerning condition and your treatment options.