Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Sleep ApneaSleep Apnea is often characterized by loud snoring followed by periods of silence when breathing stops or nearly stops. In this serious condition, your throat tissues obstruct your airway, preventing you from breathing.

In other cases of sleep apnea, complete obstruction doesn’t occur. Instead, while still snoring, the airway becomes so small that the airflow is inadequate for your needs. Eventually, the lack of oxygen and an increase in carbon dioxide signal you to wake up, forcing your airway open with a loud snort or gasping sound. This pattern may be repeated many times during the night. To be diagnosed as having Obstructive Sleep Apnea, these periods when breathing slows or stops must occur at least five times an hour. Waking up in distress dozens of times a night can have serious consequences.

Sleep Apnea BerkeleySleep Apnea may be more than just a nuisance. Depending on the cause of the problem, it may result in daytime sleepiness and difficulty in concentrating, relationship problems, greater risk of high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke. A recent study corollated an increased risk of auto accidents to lack of sleep.  Other research has shown a demonstrable relationship between Sleep Apnea, Type 2 Diabetes, Gastro-intestinal Reflux Disease and Temporal-Mandibular Dysfunction Syndrome.

If examination and history suggest more than simple snoring is present, a Sleep Study is necessary to definitively assess if one has Sleep Apnea and further, to determine whether the disease can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe.  Well-designed and professionally fitted oral devices or dental appliances are quite effective in treating mild to moderate Sleep Apnea. Other options for treatment include surgery or a forced air appliance (CPAP).

Take a simple test to see if you might suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Watch this video with your bedpartner.  If it looks and sounds familiar, contact Dr. Goldman to discuss the implications.