The Curse of Sleep Apnea CPAP Therapy
Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing stops and starts while you’re asleep. It is capable of causing a multitude of physical and mental problems, including restless sleep, drowsiness during the day, snoring, bruxism (teeth grinding), and difficulty in school or on the job.
It can exacerbate heart problems, chronic allergies, dark circles under the eyes, tonsillitis, and many other non-optimum physical conditions.
Other complications can include liver problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and, unfortunately, death from an irregular heartbeat.
Obstructive sleep apnea affects millions of people.
The Three Primary Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three primary types of sleep apnea.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea, which happens when the brain fails to send the proper message to the muscles that control breathing.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea, when the muscles in the throat relax while you’re asleep.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome
Complex sleep apnea syndrome, when you have both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the throat muscles relax while you’re sleeping. The sides of the muscles of the tongue and soft palate go limp and your breathing passage gets restricted or closes altogether.
When your breathing is restricted, it’s impossible to get enough oxygen into your blood. If this happens while you’re asleep, your brain picks up a signal that you’re not getting enough air and you are briefly awakened from sleep so the airway to your lungs is reopened. Many times the awakening is so momentary that you don’t even notice it.
The pattern can be repeated five, ten, or twenty times each hour, every hour that you’re asleep. It can prevent you from ever having the kind of sleep that’s actually restful.
Treatment of Symptoms
You’re probably familiar with advertising using the acronym “CPAP”. CPAP stands for “constant positive air pressure”, and the ads are for what is known as a CPAP machine.
The CPAP machine is a device that supplies air pressure to your breathing while you’re asleep. The patient wears a nosepiece or mask with a hose connected to a machine that forces a light positive pressure into the mouth. This machine has been the “go-to” remedy for addressing the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea for several years.
However, it does have its drawbacks. It can be uncomfortable. It can cause sinus problems related to dryness in the nose or mouth. It can aggravate the lungs and contribute to lung infections. The machine, mask, and hoses require diligent cleaning. If not used every night, insurance may not cover its use.
Most importantly, the CPAP machine addresses the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, but not the cause. If you ever stop using it, the symptoms of your obstructive sleep apnea reappear.
The Curse is Lifted
Rather than treating the symptoms, it’s now possible to treat the many forms of the actual cause of obstructive sleep apnea.
It’s a revolutionary solution called a “mandibular repositioning device”, and it’s the single biggest breakthrough for the treatment of mild-to-moderate sleep apnea since CPAP.
How does it work? First, a board-certified physician diagnoses your condition. Once the diagnosis is complete, a specially-trained dentist designs your custom oral appliance.
You wear the appliance for between 12 and 24 months, in the evening, and while you sleep. Upon completion of treatment, many patients require no further intervention.
It just might be the answer to your prayers for healthy and restful sleep!
No more obstructive sleep apnea = no more CPAP machine!