Do You Snore?

If you’re like most Americans you probably don’t get eight hours of sleep each night. But, if you constantly feel exhausted, experience headaches for no obvious reason or have high blood pressure, you could have a more serious problem. That’s because these can all be the result of snoring. While most people think of snoring as a minor annoyance, research shows it can be hazardous to your health. There’s a simple solution. Dr. Hayes can provide you with a comfortable custom fit oral appliance treatment to help you get a better night sleep. Call our office at 610-874-5700.

How do I find out if I have this condition? Answer our 7 simple questions.

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Looking for a CPAP Alternative?

  • People who suffer from OSA repeatedly and unknowingly stop breathing during the night due to a complete or partial obstruction of their airway. Thankfully, most people wake when a complete or partial obstruction occurs, but it can leave you feeling completely exhausted. If you’re CPAP is a nuisance than Dr. Hayes has an alternative. He can provide you with a custom fit oral appliance treatment to help you get the rest you deserve.

What is sleep apnea?

  • Sleep apnea is a condition where the soft tissue in your throat collapses and blocks your airway during sleep.

Do I have to go to a Sleep Center?

  • No. There is a simple to use pre-screening device that can be used in your own home. It does not diagnose or treat sleep apnea. If sleep apnea is indicated, you should discuss next steps with Dr. Hayes, including having in-lab polysomnography to establish a diagnosis by a sleep physician and determine the severity of your apnea.

    • It Is simple, affordable, and easy to use

    • Shows results immediately after use

    • Provides patients immediate indication of their risk for sleep apnea, Is a one-piece, completely disposable device

How can I Sleep Better?

  • If you test and show mild to moderate sleep apnea, Dr. Hayes can prescribe an FDA approved oral appliance to help keep your airway open and let you get the rest you deserve.

More About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing while you sleep. These pauses in your breathing can last up to a minute and can occur 30 times or more within an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

Sleep apnea is usually a chronic condition that disrupts your sleep. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you’ll often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep. As a result, the quality of your sleep is reduced, which increases the feeling of daytime fatigue. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

Dr. Hayes is trained in dental sleep medicine and works in conjunction with sleep physicians to recommend oral appliance devices that are based on the patients personal needs. They are always custom fit and this type of treatment should only be fabricated by a dentist trained in dental sleep medicine.

Causes

When you're awake, throat muscles help keep your airway open so air can flow into your lungs. When you’re sleeping, these muscles relax, which narrows your throat. Normally, this narrowing doesn’t prevent air from flowing in and out of your lungs. However, if you have sleep apnea, your airway can become partially or fully blocked and this is due to:

  • Your throat muscles and tongue relax more than normal.

  • Your tongue and tonsils are larger than the opening of your windpipe.

  • You’re overweight. The extra fat tissue can thicken and therefore, narrow the wall of the windpipe, which makes it harder to keep open.

Causes of Sleep Apnea

If you think you have sleep apnea than you are not alone.

1 in every 15 Americans have a case of sleep apnea
9% of middle-aged women and 25% of middle-aged men suffer from sleep apnea
On average, a person with sleep apnea may experience 60 apneas per hour, which equates to 400 apneas per night

How do I know if I have sleep apnea?

  • Does your bed partner complain about how loud and often you snore?

  • Has your bed partner noticed that you stop breathing while you sleep?

  • Has your bed partner noticed that you stop breathing while you sleep?

  • Have you ever nodded off or fallen asleep while driving?

  • Do you nod off during the day? Do you have high blood pressure?

  • Do you have a family member who has sleep apnea? Is your neck size 17 inches or more (men)?

  • Is your neck size 16 inches or more (women)?

  • Do you have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher?

The most common symptom of sleep apnea is by loud and frequent snoring followed by periods of silence as breathing nearly stops. Snoring is the result of muscles in the throat relaxing enough so that they partially block the airway and vibrate, creating the snoring sound.

Other symptoms include:

  1. Continual feelings of tiredness

  2. Nighttime gasping, choking or coughing

  3. Morning headaches

  4. Irritability

  5. Gastroesophageal reflux (GE reflux)

  6. Moodiness

  7. Poor concentration

  8. Obesity hypertension

  9. Frequent nocturnal urination

  10. Loss of energy and depression

Treatment

The most common treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea is breathing devices, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). A CPAP machine fits over your mouth and gently blowing air into your lungs while you sleep. Patients have experienced claustrophobia and discomfort while wearing the CPAP mask while others have developed nasal congestion.

An effective alternative to CPAP is mouthpieces, also known as oral appliance therapy (OAT). OAT is recommended for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea patients who prefer oral appliances to CPAP.

For many, oral appliances devices are more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. The devices are also quiet, portable and easy to care for. Research suggests that oral appliance offers a higher patient compliance rate.

OAT uses a device similar to a retainer, which is only worn during sleep, to maintain an unobstructed airway. The device prevents the airway from collapsing by either holding the tongue or supporting the jaw in a forward position.

Additional Facts about Sleep Apnea

As these statistics show, sleep apnea is a condition that needs to be taken seriously.

Hypertension Links

  • About half of all the hospital patients who have a case of hypertension are also afflicted with sleep apnea. Conversely, round half of all the sleep apnea sufferers face a diagnosis of hypertension.

Stroke Risk

  • Untreated sleep apnea sufferers face a risk of stroke that is four times as likely compared to those who are not afflicted.

  • 65% of stroke patients have sleep apnea

Heart Disease

  • Untreated sleep apnea sufferers are three times more likely to have heart disease.

  • People with sleep apnea are at twice the risk of having a traffic accident.

  • Treating all U.S. drivers suffering from sleep apnea would save $11.1 billion dollars annually, but more importantly, would save over 1000 lives annually.

Health Concerns

  • Sleep apnea can lead to a reduction of your blood oxygen level, which can trigger the release of stress hormones during sleep. These hormones raise your heart rate and increase your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, fluid retention, stroke, insomnia, and irregular heartbeats. The hormones also can raise your risk for heart failure.

Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition and has been linked to thousands of deaths each year. Dr. Hayes can now help treat this serious medical condition with a custom fitted dental oral appliance.

To a better night’s sleep,
Dr. Ron Hayes

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