Updated: Dec 14, 2018
Snoring is a real health concern that not only affects the quantity and quality of your sleep, but your overall health. Most people are unaware that they snore and may have been told only by a family member that they do. Consistent snoring could be a sign of something obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, there is a significant difference between occasional snoring and persistent, heavy snoring (i.e. sleep apnea). People with sleep apnea have brief pauses in their breathing throughout the night which is due to blockage in the airway. This interruption in sleep can last between 10 and 30 seconds each time and is usually followed by a “snort” when breathing resumes. Breaks in the sleep cycle never allow for a truly rested nights sleep and takes a toll on the body, leaving one feeling tired during the day.
" A huge misconception is that sleep apnea only affects older overweight men."
Most people are unaware that they suffer from sleep apnea. A huge misconception is that sleep apnea only affects older overweight men. Anyone can have sleep apnea, regardless of gender, body type, or age. Obstructive sleep apnea is not limited to adults, children are affected too! There are several alternative treatments that may help with sleep apnea, especially for children, such as craniosacral and chiropractic therapies, homeopathic remedies, and anti-inflammatory approach, which can be as simple as modifying ones diet. Poor facial shape is a contributor of sleep apnea and can be corrected with Orthotropics in children when identified early.
Health Effects of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea has numerous health effects on the body than just daytime tiredness such as:
Poor focus, Memory and Concentration
Mood Disorders, Anxiety and Depression
High Blood Pressure
Irregular Heart Beats, and Heart Attacks
Worsening of ADHD
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances (also known as dental devices) for patients with mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliances are known to improve sleep for patients by improving airflow, and reducing apnea and snoring.
Dental oral appliances can be used alone or in conjunction with other means of therapy such as continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). The CPAP is a machine that blows air down your throat through a mask that fits over your nose and/or nose and mouth.
The most widely used oral sleep apnea appliance is the mandibular advancement. Resembling a sports mouth guard, it forces the lower jaw forward and down slightly to keep the airway open.
Another device is the tongue retaining device which functions by holding the tongue in place, keeping the airway open as much as possible. Patients of Dr. Aver who wear dental oral appliances are strongly encouraged to maintain follow-up and routine check-ups to make sure the device is working, and to address the need for adjustments and replacement when needed.
If you are concerned that you may be suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea and want to understand how a sleep appliance may help you, give use call at 847-998-5100 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Aver.