Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatment
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts resulting in oxygen deprivation to the brain. It is a problem affecting millions of Americans. It can go undiagnosed for many years and can result in many serious and even life-threatening conditions. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea which is caused by a blockage of the airway by your own throat tissues and tongue. An apnea is defined as a temporary cessation of breathing and thisleads to many metabolic and physiologic changes in the body such high-blood pressure, abnormal heart beat, and can lead to many other health problems including heart attack and stroke.
Roughly 40 million people suffer with some form of sleep apnea (about 1 of 5 people). However, only 10% of those affected are receiving treatment. Unfortunately, this means many people are undiagnosed. Even more of a problem is that of the 40 million people with sleep apnea, one-third of those people have a severe form of the disease.
There are many causes for sleep apnea. One of the most common is excess weight. When we gain weight, one of the first places fat is deposited is in the back of the throat. This can lead to the airway blockage causing sleep apnea. Another indicator is an enlarged neck circumference which we are able to measure and compare to known standards when you are in our practice. Also, genetics can play as a role as those people born with a small airway are just more prone to having a blockage despite being in good physical condition.
The symptoms that bring many of our patients in for consultation are snoring and daytime fatigue, however the less obvious complications resulting from sleep apnea are much more serious. Sleep apnea and related obstructive sleep apnea can lead to high-blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and heart attack. This is due to the massive drops in oxygen concentration in the blood during an apnea episode. In addition, these cardiovascular insults can lead to metabolic problems such as poor insulin sensitivity and Type 2 Diabetes. Finally, the bed-partner and relationship of someone with sleep apnea suffers due to the person not being able to sleep in the same room due to excessively loud and repeated snoring and choking episodes.
Our practice is on the forefront in detecting this many times undiagnosed problem that can dramatically affect not only your quality of life, but also your lifespan! Dr. Frank, a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, has limited his practice to the treatment of Sleep Apnea and sleep related breathing disorders. We are able to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea by way of an easy Home Sleep Test in concert with a sleep physician. If you are diagnosed, we can custom manufacture a device to help open your airway and have you on your way to a better night sleep and improved health.