WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?
Sleep Apnea Solutions in South Bay, California
Sleep apnea is a medical condition that leads to shallow or paused breathing during sleep. These pauses can last for several minutes or only a few seconds, depending on the individual. Research suggests that a person suffering from sleep apnea can stop breathing while asleep up to 30 times or more every hour. There are two major sleep apneas under the sleep apnea sleep disorder: Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when a person snores and then stops snoring and becomes silent for seconds or minutes. The body’s oxygen level drops and the blood pressure rises to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the system. The heart beats faster, causing the heart rate to increase. The brain sensing the lack of oxygen being supplied may cause the arms, legs or whole body to move in an attempt to wake the sleeper so breathing could resume. The silence may end with a loud snort or gasp for air. This causes the sleeper to wake up briefly and begin breathing. Once asleep again, the muscles in the airway relax and the airway becomes blocked, cutting off the oxygen to the brain. This cycle can occur hundreds of times per night. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. It ranges in severity from mild to moderate, to severe. For mild and moderate cases, a custom-made oral appliance works to completely eliminate or significantly reduce the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The oral appliance may work for those diagnosed with severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea and prescribed a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, but do not use the CPAP because it is uncomfortable or need to travel often. Central Sleep Apnea is a more serious sleep disorder that affects the brain. Central Sleep Apnea occurs when the brain temporarily stops sending signals to the muscles that control breathing. This type of sleep apnea is usually associated with other serious medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, hypothyroid diseases, kidney failure or damage to the brainstem, and should be examined by a health-care professional. Mixed Sleep Apnea is when both types of sleep apnea are present.
What causes sleep apnea?
When you sleep, it is normal for the muscles in your throat to relax. If they become too relaxed, however, you could suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This can lead to other health conditions. At Dream Dental, our South Bay sleep apnea experts can assist you! Some circumstances can aggravate Obstructive Sleep Apnea such as:
- Your tonsils or tongue are large compared to your airway
- The size of your neck: Greater than 17″ for men and 15″ for women likely to have Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Age, which reduces your ability to keep your throat open while you sleep
- Weight, especially if you are overweight
If you snore or suffer from sleep apnea, contact Dream Dental at (310) 539-2624 to learn about our solutions.