Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea and Snoring Can Be Life Threatening

Ever have one of those days where you’re constantly dragging your feet and fighting to keep your eyes open? Or, have you been accused of being extremely cranky and caffeine just doesn’t seem to do the trick? It’s common for people to have one of these experiences occasionally when they don’t get enough sleep the night before. However, if this is a normal way of life you, it’s time to consider consulting with a professional to ensure you’re not leaving a serious health issue untreated. Dr. William Thomas of PowayBraces is partnering with local area medical doctors to provide a non-surgical solution that is safe, affordable and effective. Specially trained orthodontists, can now provide a dental appliance as an alternative to using an uncomfortable CPAP machine.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a disorder that affects a person’s ability to breathe naturally during sleep. Those with this condition experience prolonged pauses, or apnea, between each breath. Most people with sleep apnea aren’t usually aware that there’s an issue which adds complications to proper diagnosis and treatment.

Forms of Sleep Apnea

People who have sleep apnea are diagnosed of one of three types: central (CSA), obstructive (OSA), or complex SA which is basically a mixture of CSA and OSA. CSA is characterized as the brain not giving the muscles signals for a person to breathe during sleep and mostly affects infants. On the other hand, OSA occurs when the brain does send signals to muscles, but the muscles don’t take the cue to breathe because of an obstructed airway. OSA tends to impact the majority of people with sleep apnea, causing problems for millions of American adults and children.

The Aftermath

Sleep apnea has several adverse effects that target both physical and emotional health. Individuals who have the condition are more likely to suffer from fatigue, short-term memory loss, and weak motor or concentration skills. Another common result, particularly for those with OSA, is snoring which can lead to more serious, long term effects, including heart attack, stroke, hypertension, depression, or various auto-immune disorders. Use of Dental Devices by Sleep Apnea Patients Sleep experts encourage individuals to seek the guidance of specially trained orthodontists when it comes to getting the treatment that deals with sleep apnea. After thorough examination, Dr. Thomas will often prescribe a custom designed dental device to minimize related health issues. Most treatments are cost effective, non-invasive, and easy to wear.

Image courtesy of the National Institutes of Health

CPAP Machine

Although there’s a wide array of devices, one of the most commonly recommended treatment by sleep doctors is referred to as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy, or the CPAP machine. The instrument conveniently transfers air connected to a hose and the device into the airways of a person while they’re asleep. The CPAP machine is proven to be one of the most effective solutions, however, there’s still drawback that people should take into consideration. It’s noisiness and discomfort can cause problems, as well some of the physical side effects, such as nosebleeds, headaches, and nightmares. Unfortunately, studies show that compliance is poor.

Dr. Thomas has given courses on sleep apnea to dentists, teaching them about the diagnosis and treatment options, and also leads a study club for the group. 

Sleep apnea doesn’t have to dictate your future. Take control of your life by consulting with an orthodontic professional about possible oral solutions. Preventative treatments, paired with positive lifestyle changes, can help point you in the right direction. 

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