Sleep Apnea

What is sleep apnea? Diagnosis, Treatment or What we do, Why is it harmful and How it’s affecting your health.

is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is the failure to breathe while you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of apnea. In this form of the disease, the airway collapses, cutting off airflow to the lungs (see figure1).
A partial airway obstruction causes the upper airway tissues to vibrate and produce the sound of the classic snore. About 30 million Americans have undiagnosed sleep apnea.


• Snoring is a problem that affects 67% of adults by the age of 40
• Snoring can cause disrupted sleep for both snorers and their sleeping partners which can lead to health problems.
• Snoring is the harsh sound that occurs when the tissue at the back of the roof of the mouth vibrate against the back of the throat.
• During sleep, these tissues, the tongue, and the muscles that line the airway all relax. When this occurs, the airway narrows. As air passes through this narrowed airway, the tissues vibrate against each other and create the snoring sound that can grow louder during sleep.
• Snoring may also be an indication of a bigger health problem sleep apnea.


You may be prescribed a home sleep test. This offers an easier option, as you will be able to spend the night in your own bed in familiar surroundings. After a brief training by your healthcare provider, you can take home a home sleep testing device<> for a self-administered sleep test. You may also go for a Sleep Lab Test.

WHAT WE DO: We assess every patient with a thorough exam including evaluation of each patients head, neck, airway, teeth, and medical history. This information is correlated with testing to establish an accurate diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment options. We will coordinate patient care with your physician to help resolve your snoring or apnea condition.


Oral Appliance Therapy:

An oral appliance is a small acrylic device that fits over the upper and lower teeth. The device slightly advances the lower jaw, which moves the base of the tongue forward and opens the airway. This improves breathing and reduces snoring and sleep apnea. This treatment is most effective for people with snoring and/or mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, and also for patients who are intolerant of CPAP therapy.

While CPAP is the common treatment option, other modalities of treatment do exist, including:
Lifestyle changes Positional therapy
Weight loss Surgical procedures

Benefits of Treatment:

Patients who treat obstructive sleep apnea will return to a more normal sleep pattern allowing the body its much needed rest. Patients will feel more awake and energetic allowing increased focus and activity throughout the day. Benefits also include reduced risk for heart failure, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and other ailments associated with OSA.

Why is sleep apnea harmful?

Cummulative Effect of OSA

As Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) develops, it has a cumulative effect. This means that the longer the disease goes untreated, the greater the negative side effects and associated health risks. If sleep apnea remains untreated, other health conditions may emerge or current health problems may heighten, including:

High Blood Pressure Heart Disease
Heart Attack Heart Failure
Stroke Diabetes
Depression Reflux disease
Atherosclerosis Gestational Diabetes Sexual Dysfunction

Consequences of OSA

• Excessive daytime sleepiness
• Difficulty concentrating on tasks such as driving and remaining focused at meetings. (Fatal car accidents are increased seven fold)
• Morning and daytime headaches
• Generalized irritability
• Impaired emotional functioning
Sleep disordered breathing in childhood may be instrumental in delaying or damaging cognitive development

Affecting your Health?

OSA: Obstructive
Sleep Apnea
• 90% undiagnosed and untreated
• Oxygen Deprivation: Morning headaches
• Snoring: Disrupts sleep
• Poor Sleep causes 20% of all serious car crash injuries
• Stroke: 3X higher risk for men with OSA
• Stress: 85% of people with congestive heart failure have OSA
• Obesity: 60-80% of obese people have sleep disordered breathing
• Diabetes: affects 40% of OSA patients
Last Updated On 2021-10-16