Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is an insidious, debilitating disease that affects adults as well as children. Untreated OSA can threaten a person’s health as well as their quality of life. It is estimated that as many as 18 million adult Americans are affected by OSA with 85% undiagnosed and 80% untreated.
Signs and Symptoms of Obstructed Sleep Apnea
- Witnessed apneas (breathing temporarily stops during sleep)
- Gasping or choking for air during sleep
- Excessive sleepiness and fatigue not explained by other factors
- Non-refreshing sleep
- Frequent awakening from sleep at night to use the restroom
- Sleep fragmentation (awakening multiple times)
- Morning headaches
- Decreased concentration
- Memory loss
- Decreased Libido
- Poor work performance
- Motor vehicle accidents due to sleepiness or fatigue
Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
- Increasing age
- Male gender
- Anatomic abnormalities of upper airway
- Tonsils, Adenoids
- Chronic nasal obstruction
- Family history
- Alcohol or sedative use
Go To Our Questionnaire Links:
Patients at High Risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Patients who suffer from any of these disorders should be evaluated with questionnaires and sleep studies.
- Obesity (BMI > 35) (Body Mass Index is weight relative to height kg/m2)
- Type 2 Diabetes caused by obesity
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Abnormal Heart Rhythm
- High Blood Pressure without cause
- Males with a neck larger than 17 inches around
- Females with a neck larger than 16 inches around
Medical Consequences of Untreated and Diagnosed Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Systemic Pulmonary Hypertension (a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of your heart)
- Cardiac Hypertrophy (enlarged heart)/Heart Failure
- Cardiac Arrhythmias or Irregular Heart Beat
The diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) must be made by a qualified medical doctor. When diagnosed, the sleep disorder patients are often directed to CPAP therapy. While CPAP therapy is still the gold standard for the treatment of OSA, up to 50% of OSA patients cannot tolerate CPAP therapy. Therefore, oral appliances have become a treatment of choice for dealing with snoring and obstructive sleep disorders.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends the use of oral appliances for primary snoring and patients with the diagnosis of mild to moderate OSA. Oral appliances can have a beneficial impact on OSA and have been shown to improve blood oxygen saturation levels in OSA patients. Oral appliances are also associated with fewer side effects and greater patient satisfaction than CPAP.
Most of the effective oral appliances position the lower jaw forward comfortably so that the obstructed airway can be cleared. Our office provides only custom fitted appliances. All appliances can be adjusted for comfort and effectiveness in reducing symptoms with minimal side-effects. The appliances we use allow our patients to open their mouth, move from side to side, yawn, drink and even speak while wearing the appliance.
We are pleased to provide oral appliance support for anyone with a sleep disorder including primary snoring. The questionnaires that follow will allow us to coordinate your oral appliance therapy with your medical diagnosis and your primary medical doctor. We are happy to schedule a consultation appointment to evaluate your needs and concerns.