Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing during sleep. This results in a lower amount of oxygen available to your tissues and brain. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 100 times or more an hour. Similarly, each abnormally low breathing event is called a hypopnea. The diagnosis of sleep apnea is based on the combined evaluation of clinical symptoms and of the results of a formal sleep study (polysomnography).
There are three forms of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea (CSA) 4%, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) 84%, and complex or mixed sleep apnea 15% (i.e., a combination of central and obstructive). In CSA, breathing is interrupted by a lack of respiratory effort; in OSA, the most common form, breathing is interrupted by a physical block to airflow despite respiratory effort, and snoring is common.
Regardless of type, an individual with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening. Sleep apnea is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body. Symptoms may be present for many without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance.
Signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnea:
- EDS (Excessive Daytime Sleepiness)
- Impaired alertness
- Daytime fatigue
- Slower reaction time
- Disturbances in vision
- Decrease in attentiveness and drive
- GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease)
- Nocturnal reflux/heartburn
- Development of depression
- Difficulty with memory and learning
- Difficulty in paying attention, working effectively and processing information when in a waking state
- Finally, because there are many factors that could lead to some of the effects previously listed, some patients are not aware that they suffer from sleep apnea and are either misdiagnosed, or just ignore the symptoms altogether
mySleep Dental Appliances are a proven way to treat sleep apnea. Our clinic is concerned about your well being. If you suspect that you or a loved one might have a sleep disorder, you should seek qualified professional care as soon as possible. to begin the steps to a critically needed and thorough diagnostic evaluation. If you currently use CPAP, and are uncomfortable, or if you snore, an oral appliance may be appropriate for you.
To find out more about sleep disorders and how mySleep dental appliances can help call us or Click Here to set-up a consultation with Dr. Hagi.