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Apnea and snoringSleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing while asleep. It is not "just snoring" as many people believe. In fact, you don't snore during an apneic event, because you are not breathing. However, snoring is a red flag warning that you may have apnea. Both are caused by airway obstructions, and an apneic event is typically followed by loud snoring.
Effects of apneaOxygen deprivation during an apneic event only lasts a few seconds, but these events occur many times throughout the night. Additionally, your sleep is repeatedly disturbed throughout the night. The cumulative result of poor quality sleep and routine oxygen deprivation can wreak havoc on your health.
Like TMJ/TMD, sleep apnea has been associated with a wide range of (often seemingly unrelated) problems including:
- Cardiac issues
- Hormonal issues
- Weight loss
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Impaired mental functionality
DiagnosisThere are many possible causes of apnea, including excess or sagging soft tissues, constricted airway, and even orthodontic alignment. The only accurate way to diagnose sleep apnea is through a sleep study. You will not have to see a specialist, or sleep in a laboratory setting. With our state-of-the-art technology, we can run an ambulatory sleep study, completed in the comfort of your own home.
TreatmentIn traditional medical treatment is CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). It is a machine, which forces air into your lungs via a mask. The air pressure holds your airway open. Although it is largely effective, approximately 60 percent of all patients can't tolerate the noise, discomfort, and inconvenience.
We provide simple and comfortable oral appliance therapy. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, this technique is the gold standard in treatment of mild to moderate apnea. We have been using these custom-made appliances to relieve sleep apnea for many years, with phenomenal results. The vast majority of patients no longer have any need for CPAP!
If you are concerned about apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Suh today.
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