Obstructive sleep apnea, commonly called sleep apnea or OSA, is a medical condition where you have pauses in breath while asleep because the soft tissues of the throat become loose and drop into the throat. These disruptions can last between a few seconds to a few minutes. They may occur only occasionally or more than 30 times in an hour. The breaks in breathing cause the person to move from deep sleep to light sleep, or even to wake up. The result is poor sleep, which has its range of symptoms and risks. Symptoms can be mild or nonexistent to severe. Symptoms can include snoring, snorting, or choking while asleep.
Snoring does occur with sleep apnea regularly, but snoring does not mean that the person has OSA. Snoring can be caused by clogged sinus passages, allergies, and colds. Not every person with OSA will snore. If you experience snoring as well as other symptoms like forgetfulness, moodiness, daytime drowsiness, problems concentrating, waking up gasping for air or choking, and falling asleep during the day you should make an appointment with Dr. Redd to be tested for OSA.
Sleep apnea is connected to a greater likelihood of developing heart disease or having a heart attack, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity, having a stroke, and other cognitive conditions. It can also increase the likelihood of being in a fatigue-related auto accident.
The goal of treatment is to stop the disruptions in your breath and sleep cycle. Treatment options include mouthpieces, breathing devices, and in severe cases, surgery. The most common device used to help a patient is an oral appliance, used while the patient is sleeping to gently shift the lower jaw slightly forward. This keeps the airway open and unobstructed while you sleep. The device, which Dr. Redd sources from Somnomed, is made from state-of-the-art materials and custom-crafted to fit your mouth which makes it very comfortable to wear.
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