Sleep Disorder Overview – What You Need to Know
Often snoring is dismissed as an annoyance, but it can be a sign of a very serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is caused by a blocked airway. The tongue falls backward during sleep and can fully or partially block the airway. The body then struggles to obtain air, and this causes the vibration we call snoring. Much of the time the body will continue to get just enough air so there will be very little harm. However, this condition is one of the signs that sleep apnea could be right around the corner.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Apnea episodes can occur from 6 to 100 times per hour. This oxygen deprivation causes people to feel exhausted when they wake up, as though they haven’t really been sleeping. They’ve spent most of the night fighting for air, so it’s no wonder they feel tired, headachy, and irritable. The lower oxygen levels also put a strain on the heart.
Dr. Blumenstock and our staff cooperates with medical doctors that include sleep physicians and specialists such as neurologists, pulmonologists, and ENT physicians. Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are medical problems, so we make sure your individual situation is fully addressed by starting with an objective medical assessment. After referral from a physician, you’ll receive a thorough oral examination by Dr. Blumenstock, who will discuss all options, advantages, limitations, and consequences.
After you are fitted with the oral appliance that should work best for you, we’ll take any needed time to adjust the appliance to a comfortable and effective position. Then we recommend a follow-up evaluation by the referring physician to objectively document the effectiveness of the therapy. These appliances reduce the health risks associated with apnea without surgery or medication. There is a high success rate for people treated with these appliances.