Millions of Americans suffer from a hidden but debilitating condition known as sleep apnea. You may just view it as snoring and a sleepy feeling throughout the day. It is actually a dangerous condition caused by constricted airways while you are sleeping. The restricted airway will lead to a lack of oxygen and deep sleep. You will wake up multiple times throughout the night with perhaps a snort or choking sound. When you do not get plenty of deep sleep, you can develop headaches, weight gain, heart attacks, and strokes. There is currently no cure for sleep apnea, but there are treatments that can significantly reduce its effects and the accompanying health dangers. Some patients use CPAP machines, which pump air into their lungs through a special mask. They can be unwieldy and cumbersome, so many patients quit using them in a short amount of time. Another option that is much less challenging to use is an oral sleep apnea appliance. It is used like a mouth guard and it holds you tongue and mouth in a way that opens up the airway for unrestricted breathing.
Is Snoring Part of the Problem?
While snoring is common, it should not be ignored. It has been estimated that over 80 million Americans deal with some level of snoring. A majority of these scenarios involve louder snoring that may be indicative of more serious problems. Snoring is produced by soft tissue that restricts the flow of air through the airway. The obstruction reduces the flow of oxygen to the brain and to the lungs.
Don’t Just Treat the Snoring
While there are treatments that deal only with the snoring, this is simply treating the symptom and not the cause. Some snoring mouthpieces only do enough to stop the snoring but they do not open up the airway properly. At Matthews Smiles, we will custom fit an oral appliance that will open up your airway and once again allow the free flow of oxygen while you sleep. By confronting the sleep apnea and not just the snoring, you will get the deep sleep your body requires and lower the possibility of serious health issues.