Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects 1 in 5 American adults. Sleep apnea is characterized by the repeated stopping and starting of a person’s breathing while they are asleep. These pauses are called apnea and can last for a few seconds to several minutes (this is referred to as a shallow breathing episode or hypopnea). More than five “episodes” within an hour constitute a sleep apnea diagnosis.
When breathing becomes irregular, carbon dioxide builds up in the bloodstream triggering receptors in the brain to wake the person and breath normally. Regular breathing will restore proper oxygen levels, and the person will fall back to sleep. Overnight sleep tests or a sleep study is often how sleep apnea is formally diagnosed.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, affecting 84% of sleep apnea cases. Central sleep apnea and complex or mixed sleep apnea make up the rest with 0.4% and 15%, respectively. Central sleep apnea is a lack of breathing efforts while sleeping. Obstructive sleep apnea is a physical blockage of the respiratory system restricting airflow despite breathing efforts.
Individuals with sleep apnea are rarely aware of the problem. Usually, others witnessing the episode while the individual sleeps recognize the sleep disruption. Individuals may go undiagnosed for years, unaware of the source of their daytime sleepiness. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea can include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Impaired alertness
Sleep apnea can affect anyone. Although there are factors that put individuals at a higher risk for sleep apnea. Factors include:
- Being male
- Excessive weight
- Individuals above 40 years in age
- Large neck sizes (wider than 16-17 inches
- Larger tonsils or tongue
- Sinus problems
- Family history of sleep apnea
- Deviated septum
The use of alcohol, sedative, or tranquilizer may trigger sleep apnea by relaxing throat muscles.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment in East Idaho
One solution for sleep apnea is the CPAP(Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. With proper and consistent use, the CPAP opens the patient’s airway during sleep with pressurized air.
A face mask is strapped to the patient’s face connected to a bedside CPAP machine by a flexible tube. As you can imagine, sleeping with this device strapped to your face can make for a problematic sleeping experience. A minority of CPAP patients continue long-term compliance. Patients often complain of facial irritation and feeling trapped by the face mask. Fortunately, there are other options for obstructive sleep apnea treatment in East Idaho at Comfort Sleep Solutions.
Oral appliances for sleep apnea treatment in East Idaho are custom made mouthpieces designed just for you. These appliances shift the lower jaw forward slightly to open up your airways. Oral appliance therapy is generally successful for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. We carry a variety of oral appliances for sleep apnea.
Our most comfortable and most preferred appliance is the Somnomed MAS. This appliance is custom made with a durable, comfortable, flexible material, allowing you to drink water, yawn, and even talk while wearing it. It’s lip sealed, preventing dry mouth and the least bulky of the oral appliances. The Somnomed also has an edentulous option that can be used with implants.
The TAP-3 is the original oral appliance. It is custom made and adjustable, ideal for patients that plan on having future dental work. The SUAD appliance is ideal for those patients that grind their teeth at night.
The state-of-the-art Narval CC made by ResMed, the leader in CPAP manufacturing, has many benefits for sleep apnea treatment in East Idaho, including:
- Comfortable and flexible
- No effect on dental hygiene
- Strong and lightweight
- Minimal impact on teeth and gums
- Customizable for each individual’s dental anatomy
With all the different oral appliances available, we are here to help you decide what choice is best for your lifestyle for your sleep apnea treatment in East Idaho. If you are currently using a CPAP, you still may want to consider Oral Appliance Therapy for your sleep apnea for times of travel or if you are experiencing significant discomfort from your CPAP device. Comfort Sleep Solutions understands the negative impacts that sleep apnea can have on lives, and no one else is more committed to working with you for sleep apnea treatment in East Idaho.