Do you suffer from sleep apnea in Santa Rosa? Dr. Harry Albers and his team have extensive experience treating patients with this chronic condition that disrupts your sleep. Sleep apnea (AP-ne-ah) is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.
People with sleep apnea usually experience breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. These pauses may happen from 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.
When you suffer from sleep apnea in Santa Rosa, you often move move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow. This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Most people who have sleep apnea don’t know they have it because it only occurs during sleep. A family member and/or bed partner may be the first to notice the signs of sleep apnea.
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This most often means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep. If you have obstructive sleep apnea in Santa Rosa, the blockage may cause shallow breathing or breathing pauses, as well as loud snoring.
Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone. For example, small children may have enlarged tonsil tissues in their throats, which can lead to obstructive sleep apnea.
When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone. For example, small children may have enlarged tonsil tissues in their throats, which can lead to obstructive sleep apnea.
How can snoring and sleep apnea be treated?
ENT specialists are not the only ones to treat snoring. Your dentist can help too, and may suggest a special type of mouthpiece.
Dr. Albers and his team can work alone or in conjunction with ear, nose and throat specialists to treat sleep apnea and snoring. Treatment will generally involve a special type of mouthpiece – also known as a dental appliance or mandibular advancement splint.
These small plastic devices have been effective for many snorers, including those suffering from mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea in Santa Rosa. The mouthpieces are worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft throat tissues from collapsing and obstructing the airway. They do this by bringing your lower jaw forward and/or by lifting your soft palate. Some devices also stop the tongue from falling back over your windpipe.
Dr. Albers or his associate can fit these special appliances to meet your individual condition. Typically they will take a mold of your mouth and then either send off for a custom mouthpiece or fashion it themselves.
Do mouthpieces work?
The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine has recently identified oral appliances as an effective treatment. A 2001 study in Switzerland found oral appliances effective in treating sleep apnea. Side effects were only “mildly disturbing”: mucosal dryness (86% of patients), tooth discomfort (59%), and excessive salivation (55%). A similar study in the UK of 25 heavy snorers found that use of “mandibular advancement appliances,” i.e., mouthpieces, was effective in reducing snoring loudness for 84 per cent of the subjects while 76 per cent said they were snoring on fewer nights per week.
To learn more about treating snoring and sleep apnea in Santa Rosa, please phone our offices on 707-575-1190 to make an appointment today.