Adult Sleep Apnea and Other Sleep Disorder Breathing Problems
My spouse snores so loud I have to sleep in another room!
I hear my spouse holding their breath at night; then gasping for air.
I sleep better on my side.
My heart races and wakes me up.
I wake up out of breath or gasping during the night.
I often wake up tired in the morning and not feeling rested.
I"m drowsy throughout the day.
I"m gaining weight and not sure why.
I have acid reflux.
These can be some of the signs of sleep deprivation and or lack of normal blood oxygen saturation.
Not all sleep disorders are sleep apnea: stopping breathing.
It is important to determine if these signs indicate a narrowing or closure of the airway. If oxygen cannot flow freely through the nose and into the lungs the vital organs in the body are not being oxygenated to their safe levels. This causes a breakdown of the tissues that need oxygen to survive; heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, liver, etc. Lack of oxygen saturation can lead to and worsen high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, depression, poor sexual performance, and most medical conditions treated regularly with the use of medicines.. Our bodies need oxygen!
So when you snore air is being squeezed between a narrow channel ie. your airway, similar to a filled balloon releasing air through its narrow stem. Tonsils and adenoids can block this flow as well. A tongue, large or small, positioned against the throat can close off the airway or restrict flow of oxygen as can a small lower jaw. The reasons are many however most of them could be prevented with early intervention. Please refer to section on Child Sleep Disordered breathing. The process starts generally at a very young age.
Menopausal women exhibit 50% more snoring than previously. The tone of the airway tissues collapses and air is not able to pass as freely...hence...snoring occurs. A home sleep test is recommended if this has been brought to your awareness. Other daytime drowsiness issues could also indicate you're having a problem getting enough oxygen.
If you suspect you may be suffering from a form of sleep apnea it is highly recommended you seek a sleep evaluation with your Sleep Medicine Dentist or MD and if necessary undergo a sleep test. These are authorized by an MD if done in a sleep facility or your dentist may offer a home sleep test which can then be reviewed by a Sleep Medicine doctor. NOT ALL SLEEP DISORDERS REQUIRE A CPAP as the treating device.
I hate my CPAP ....AND I WON'T WEAR IT!
If you do NOT suffer from a CNS driven obstructive sleep apnea then you may be a candidate for alternative intra-oral devices. No electricity required. These come in many shapes and forms and the right one can be chosen for your needs. The basic premise is they position the lower jaw in a forward position relieving the airway restriction caused by the tongue up against it...it moves the tongue forward. Several other factors are critical in the success of these appliances and must be monitored closely by your dentist. Beyond this there is a growing school of evidence indicating that changes made to the jaw architecture through orthotropic movement and myofunctional therapy could minimize the use of any appliance in the mouth.
Sleep Disordered Breathing in Children: Early Intervention
In an effort to help your child get the best nights sleep possible Dr. Morello has teamed up with a group of medical sleep specialists and orthodontists to solve your child's problems with oxygen deprivation.
Does you child sleep with their mouth open?
Does your child snore...even lightly?
Does your child drool on their pillow?
Does your child grind their teeth?
When relaxed or focused is your child's mouth open or closed?
Can they move their tongue freely?
Is your child's speech clear?
These are important questions to investigate in determining if further inquiry into sleep disordered breathing is necessary. It is most urgent that your child can breathe through their nose freely. If they must open their mouth to breathe this affects the growth and development of the jaws...an essential component to the success of an open airway and a good night's sleep.
All the above are signs that oxygen flow to the body is compromised...in other words, air is not getting to their lungs and organs in an efficient manor. Some of these reasons can include a stuffy nose, allergies and enlarged tonsils or adenoids. If breathing is diminished or even stopped briefly the brain sends a signal to "wake up and breathe." This message is called an arousal because it wakes up your child momentarily. If this happens consistently all night the child will not get a restful sleep and this can be manifested in their daytime sleepiness, inability to stay focused and irritability or behavioral outbursts to name a few. ADHD and other attention deficit syndromes are directly affected by sleep deprivation and a lower oxygen saturation in the blood.
Early intervention can help your child develop the critical mouth space and function that allow this system to work. Specially trained Orthodontists, myofunctional therapists and sleep trained professionals can guide your child through this process to a life not threatened by sleep apnea...a disease that cuts life short and consistently challenges the health of all the organs in the body. Ask us for an evaluation of your child's signs and symptoms.