Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway causing air flow to stop. When the oxygen level drops low enough the brain moves out of deep sleep and the individual partially awakens. The airway then contracts and opens causing the obstruction in the throat to clear. The flow of air starts again usually with a loud gasp. When the air flow starts again you then move back into a deep sleep. The airway muscles collapse, as you awaken with a gasp. The airway clears once again as the process repeats itself. This scenario may occur many times during the night. The combination of low oxygen levels and fragmented sleep are the major contributors to most of the ill effects that the sleep apnea patient suffers. In addition to excessive daytime sleepiness studies show that sleep apnea patients are much more likely to suffer from heart problems (heart attack, congestive heart failure, hypertension), strokes, as well as having a higher incidence of work related and driving related accidents.
Oral Appliance Therapy:
Oral appliances are worn in the mouth to treat snoring and OSA. These devices are similar to sports mouth guards and must be made to PRECISELY fit around the teeth. It is highly recommended that if you snore or are told you snore, that you consult with Dr. Mattingly. We do not recommend over the counter products that claim to help your snoring as they are usually inaccurate and overly bulky.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP):
CPAP machines are pressurized air devices that force air through a tube connected to a mask which covers the nose and sometimes both the nose and mouth. The CPAP opens the airway like a balloon in that when air is blown into the balloon it opens and gets wider.
We have successfully helped many of our patients with snoring or OSA by fabricating a custom oral appliance. You will be stunned by the difference in the quality of your life once you start getting solid lasting deep sleep. Call our office now for a consultation.