Are you or a loved one bothered by loud, chronic snoring? Many people dismiss snoring as a slight bother, but snoring can impact your stamina and may indicate sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can lead to serious health complications that can prove fatal if left untreated for a long time.
Breathing occurs automatically. However, the relaxation of the muscles as you sleep can allow your tongue and soft palate to fall backward, constricting and obstructing your airway. Snoring occurs when air forces its way through the partially-obstructed airway. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common type of sleep apnea, occurs when you completely stop breathing for short intervals during the night.
When the breathing is completely cut off, this forces the body to go into panic mode in order to restore it, which makes it partially wake up. This cycle can happen up to a hundred times in a single hour, preventing a person from getting the deep, restful sleep required to feel awake and alert during the day.
Without treatment, sleep apnea can contribute to fatigue, depression, stroke, and high blood pressure. Dr. Pate can evaluate your condition and determine if you need treatment for sleep apnea. He may suggest an oral appliance called a snoreguard to keep your airway open as you sleep. This small, custom-made mouthpiece will gently shift your jaw forward and keep your tongue in a neutral position.
In many studies, this method has proven to be extremely effective in relieving mild to moderate OSA symptoms, and it can even be used to help those who are CPAP intolerant.
If you or a loved one shows any signs of sleep apnea, it’s imperative that you receive treatment as soon as possible. To do this, you first need to get a proper diagnosis, and our office can help with this.
When your sleep apnea is under control thanks to an oral appliance, you can expect to sleep deeper, longer, and wake up in the morning feeling energized. It will also help you stop snoring, which is great news if you have a bed partner. To learn more about sleep apnea and how we can help you start getting the rest you deserve, please contact us today.