What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
One of the most common and debilitating forms of sleep apnea is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, OSA. This potentially devastating sleep disorder, can lead to a number of complications as it causes an individual to repeatedly start and stop breathing during their sleep. this can have devastating effects both in the long and short term.
OSA occurs when the muscles in the throat intermittently relax and tighten involuntarily, causing the airways to become blocked during a patient sleep. The most common symptom and sign of sleep apnea is loud snoring.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
With Obstructive Sleep Apnea being the most common form of sleep apnea, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. The most common signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea are:
- Sleeping Often During the Day
- Loud Snoring
- Morning Migraine Headaches
- Waking Up with Dry Mouth or a Sore Throat
- Waking Up Gasping or Choking
- Observable Cessation of Breathing During Sleep (By one’s partner or parent)
- Inability to Concentrate During the Day
- High Blood Pressure
- Decreased Libido or Sex Drive
- Frequent and Sudden Changes in Mood
Mouth Guards Versus CPAP Devices
When it comes to the treatment of sleep apnea, the two most common appliances available today are the CPAP device or oral mouth guard appliances.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
A CPAP is a device to be worn during you’re the night, as the patient sleeps. It is a pressurized air generator that operates similarly to a ventilator from your bedside. Air is first delivered through a mask, which covers the mouth and nose. The force of the pressurized air pushes the airways open – allowing patients to breathe easy and alleviate the symptoms of OSA.
Sleep Apnea Mouth Guards
Despite their effectiveness, many patients believe CPAP devices are far too cumbersome and not versatile enough to tackle all types of sleep apnea cases. Considering this, the team at Advanced Medical prefers the use of oral mouth guard appliances during the night.
Mouth guards are custom fit to the patient’s mouth, and work by repositioning the patient’s jaw forwards during the night – allowing the airways to open up and prevent any tissue(s) from obstructing the patient’s breathing during the night. The three main functions of the oral mouth guard include:
- Repositioning the lower portion of the jaw, soft palate and the uvula – in affect, opening the airways and allowing normal airflow.
- Stabilizing the lower jaw and the tongue – preventing them from blocking the airflow during the night.
- Providing a “workout” for the jaw and tongue muscles – this helps patients to train the muscles within the mouth from causing further blockages and keeping the airways open during sleep.
According to studies done on patients over the years, the use of oral sleep appliances or mouth guards have proved to be far more effective than the alternative CPAP devices. To learn more about these amazing devices, and get custom fitted for your sleep apnea mouth guard, be sure to contact Advanced Medical today.