If snoring is keeping you, or someone you love awake at night, you need help. More than just an annoying habit, snoring is often attributed to a more serious health condition known as sleep apnea. While treatable, sleep apnea is often associated with some serious health problems.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is defined as intermittent periods of not breathing while asleep. The problem occurs when the soft tissues of the airway relax and collapse during sleep. This blocks the exchange of air in the lungs.
During apneic episodes, a person will be roused from sleep long enough to begin breathing normally again, disrupting sleep patterns and preventing good, restful sleep. Most people who experience sleep apnea complain of feeling tired all the time, even if they are getting enough sleep.
People who suffer with sleep apnea are often clinically sleep deprived. With sleep deprivation and inadequate oxygen exchange, sleep apnea can cause serious complications. Some health concerns for people with sleep apnea are:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
Most people suffering with sleep apnea do not get restful sleep. They are awakened many times during the night during apneic episodes. They may not remember waking up during the night. When a person is awakened during certain phases of the sleep cycle, it can prevent them from spending enough time in deep, restful sleep leading to sleep deprivation.
When you do not get enough restful sleep during the night, you will feel tired during the day no matter how many hours you spent “asleep” the night before. In addition, the strain on your body can lead to the systemic health problems described above.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
For many years, the C-Pap Machine has been used to treat snoring and sleep apnea. Treatment consists of a special sleeping mask called a C-Pap machine. Worn at night, the machine provides a continual flow of air into the lungs. Compliance with a C-Pap machine is low and many patients complain that it is bulky, uncomfortable and noisy.
A Dental Snoring Device That is Comfortable and Effective
Your Richardson dentist can help minimize or eliminate snoring and treat mild to moderate sleep apnea. The TAP-Appliance (Thornton Adjustable Postioner) is a custom made device, similar to a dental night-guard which is worn during sleep to effectively eliminate or reduce snoring and apneic episodes.
The appliance works by repositioning the lower jaw, helping to maintain an open airway during sleep. Patients who use a TAP-Appliance find that it eliminates or reduces their symptoms, making it possible for them to enjoy quality, restful sleep.