What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder, while you are sleeping, it happens when you have one or more breathing interruptions or blockages. The throat can close, leading to cessation of breathing. Apnea is defined as “a cessation of airflow for at least 10 seconds.” Obstructive sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing while they are sleeping, it can happen hundreds of times a night, sometimes even lasting for a minute or longer. Obstructive sleep apnea affects 25 million Americans of all different ages.
Typically, people with obstructive sleep apnea will snore heavily, then they stop breathing. These periods of lack of breathing will be followed by sudden attempts to breathe, often accompanied by a choking or gasping sound. A person with OSA will be partially woken up leading to cognitive sleep which can be the cause daytime sleepiness. Also due to lack of breathing, the oxygen level in the blood stream to fall, this can cause multiple medical problems such as:
- Memory loss
- Drowsy driving
- Medical diseases associated with sleep apnea
- High blood pressure
- Coronary heart disease
Oral Appliance Device Therapy
- Repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula
- Stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue
- Increasing the muscle tone of the tongue