Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. These pauses are usually proceeded by loud snoring. Each pause can last 10 seconds or longer, and can occur many times a night. There maybe a choking or snorting sound as breathing resumes. As a result, individuals with apnea are often tired during the day.
In OSA, breathing is interrupted by a blockage of airflow when muscles relax during sleep, causing soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway. Snoring and OSA have significant consequences on personal, family, and professional lives:
Short Term Effects:
- Tiredness upon waking
- Lack of energy
- Decreased Sexual Desire/ Impotence
- Dry mouth or sore throat
Medium and Long Term Effects
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
- Hearing problems
The gold standard for the diagnosis of sleep apnea is a formal sleep study, and home-based studies are available. Moderate to severe sleep apnea is treated with the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. For mild to moderate OSA, or when a CPAP device is not tolerated, a custom fabricated oral sleep apnea device (OSAD) can be made by a dentist as a more comfortable method of treatment.
Custom oral appliances support the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open airway. They can help reduce or eliminate snoring and vastly improve sleep quality. Approximately 85% of adults with OSA are undiagnosed. Should you suffer from the aforementioned symptoms, or suspect that you have OSA, a consultation with an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist is recommended. Please reach out to the Doctors Giglio with questions or concerns.