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Snoring / Sleep Apnea

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep-breathing disorder characterized by breathing pauses that occur multiple times per hour during the night and are caused by a blocked or partially blocked airway. The breathing cessations result in reduced oxygen flow that, in turn, cause micro-awakenings that have a severe impact on

quality sleep and overall health.

An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from the condition, with 80 percent of suspected cases remaining undiagnosed. Untreated sleep apnea contributes to an increased risk of drowsy driving, workplace incidents, and serious health conditions such as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and many more.

Snoring

Snoring is often an indication of obstructive sleep apnea that causes sufferers to stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. The condition occurs when the tongue, throat muscles and/or throat tissues relax and block the proper flow of air. Snoring is a result of air being forced through a narrowed airway.

What are the Effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea on our Bodies?

Respiratory system

By depriving your body of oxygen while you sleep, sleep apnea can worsen symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). You might find yourself short of breath or have more trouble exercising more than usual.

Endocrine system

People with sleep apnea are more likely to develop insulin resistance, a condition in which the cells don't respond as well to the hormone insulin. When your cells don't take in insulin like they should, your blood sugar level rises and you can develop type 2 diabetes.

Sleep apnea has also been associated with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of heart disease risk factors that include high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol levels, high blood sugar levels, and a larger-than-normal waist circumference.

Digestive system

If you have sleep apnea, you're more likely to have fatty liver disease, liver scarring, and higher-than-normal levels of liver enzymes.

Apnea can also worsen heartburn and other symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can interrupt your sleep even more.

Circulatory and Cardiovascular systems

Sleep apnea has been linked to obesity and high blood pressure, which increase the strain on your heart. If you have apnea, you're more likely to have an abnormal heart rhythm such as atrial fibrillation, which could increase your risk of a stroke. Heart failure is also more common in people with sleep apnea.

Nervous system

One type of sleep apnea, called central sleep apnea, is caused by a disruption in the brain's signals that enable you to breathe. This type of sleep apnea can also cause neurological symptoms like numbness and tingling.

Reproductive system

Sleep apnea can reduce your desire to have sex. In men, it could contribute to erectile dysfunction and affect your ability to have children.

Other systems

Other common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
  • headache
  • trouble paying attention
  • irritability
  • Weight gain
  • Day time sleepiness
  • Inability to concentrate

Sleep Appliances

For patients dealing with mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring, or who have severe sleep apnea and cannot tolerate their CPAP, oral appliance therapy offers an effective and comfortable treatment option. With a number of appliances to choose from, we're able to treat each patient based on their individual needs and ensure they're fitted for an appliance that best addresses their condition

What can we do for you?

We provide treatment to patients seeking relief from sleep apnea and snoring, as well as its associated conditions such as teeth grinding and fatigue. Specializing in oral appliance therapy as a non-surgical alternative to conventional treatment options, we are dedicated to improving patients' sleep, overall health, and quality of life. Our patients can expect a comprehensive and patient-centered approach to addressing their sleep condition and related challenges.

Your first step is to schedule a sleep consultation with Dr Clark and one of his highly trained staff. initially we will send you home with a "WatchPat", an FDA approved sleep monitor. With the data we receive from this study we can inform you of the presence and level of a sleeping breathing disorder. If your test shows a mild to moderate level of obstructive sleep apnea, we will send the results of your test to a board certified sleep physician for an official diagnosis and prescription for treatment. An oral sleep appliance may then be fabricated and treatment can begin.

For your convenience we can work with your medical insurance provider for any billing for the cost of treatment.

Take a Sleepiness Survey

 


Snoring man imageThe danger of snoring

Although the frequent subject of humor, in many cases, snoring is no laughing matter! Not only does snoring disrupt the sleep cycles of other family members, but in the case of sleep apnea, snoring can be a sign of a dangerous health problem. Sleep apnea actually cuts off the flow of oxygen to the brain, and in severe cases can cause serious damage.

How snoring affects others

Even if sleep apnea is not indicated, the disruption of the sleep cycles of family members can create a hazard. Recent studies have indicated that repeated disruption of sleep patterns can cause sufferers to perform motor skills at or below the levels of individuals who are legally intoxicated! So even if your snoring is not a sign of sleep apnea, it is likely that your snoring could be a real threat to your loved ones, because impaired reaction behind the wheel of an automobile can lead to disaster regardless of the cause.

What causes snoring?

Quite simply, snoring is caused by a partially obstructed airway. When you sleep, the soft tissue and muscles in your mouth and throat relax, causing your airway to become smaller. If your airway becomes small enough, your soft palate and uvula begin to vibrate when you inhale and exhale. These vibrations are the cause of the sound most people call snoring.