Snoring is an annoyance, but it can also be far more. It is actually the initial symptom of a very serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is caused when the tongue falls backward during sleep, either partially or fully blocking your airway. The body struggles to obtain air, causing the vibration we call snoring. Much of the time the body will continue to get just enough air so there will be very little harm. However, this condition is one of the signs that sleep apnea could be right around the corner.
Sufficient rest is fundamental to your health. Do you find yourself falling asleep watching TV? Do you feel like lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit? Do you sometime feel drowsy while driving? Can you doze sitting quietly after lunch? Can you fall asleep at meetings? Have you been told you may grind your teeth? All of these are just a few of many signs that you may have poor-quality sleep or lack of sleep. This has been linked to many serious conditions like weight gain, depression, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer's.
The traditional treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP device. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Air Pressure. A machine is fitted so it can pump a continuous stream of air into the patient’s nose and/or mouth throughout the night. Unfortunately, many people find this uncomfortable and stop wearing the mask. CPAP users may also complain of claustrophobia, upper respiratory infections, bloating, and much more.
If you have sleep apnea and are frustrated with or can’t tolerate your CPAP, we have an alternative treatment to offer. Dr. Bielawski can custom fit you with an oral appliance. These small acrylic devices are similar to an orthodontic retainer or mouthguard. They fit over the upper and lower teeth and gently realign your tongue and jaw to open your airway. This allows more air flow to the lungs as you sleep. They are easy to place and remove, easy to clean, and convenient for travel. They are also amazingly comfortable and have an excellent success rate for sleep apnea and snoring.
Snoring and sleep apnea don’t have to fill your nights. Give us a call today at (860) 693-8314 for a no-cost/no-obligation consultation.