Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatment Services
What is Sleep Apnea?
Many people experience a reduced quality of life due to Sleep Apnea and Snoring that can have problematic effects on sleep and health. Changes in your airway during sleep characterized as OSA commonly produce snoring as a symptom. When your airway becomes more slender than usual your airflow is diminished when you breathe. The soft tissue in your airway can vibrate (this is when snoring occurs), or it may collapse entirely in which case you’ll temporarily stop breathing. An Obstructive Apnea is defined as when your soft tissue collapses, and it can last for more than ten seconds. Throughout the night your airway can go from open, to narrowed, to collapsed periodically. We will get you on a path to sleeping well which will improve your quality of life.
Sleep Apnea and Risk Factors
- Memory loss
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Driving and work-related accidents
- Morning headaches
- Decreased sex drive
What Should I do if I think I have symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
A consultation at Sleep Solutions of San Diego, including a thorough sleep history evaluation and basic oral exam, is often the first step in evaluating you for any sleep disorder including OSA. If it is determined that you may need a more detailed assessment, Dr. Morgan may have you complete a 1-3 day sleep study from your own home. This test records your heartbeat, respiratory effort, airflow, blood oxygen levels, and breathing during an entire night. In addition to your primary care physician, pulmonologists, neurologists, and other physicians with specialty training in sleep disorders may be involved in making a definitive diagnosis. Sleep apnea is easily diagnosed and must not be ignored.
- Weight Loss
- Over the Counter Medication: Nasal steroids and Sleep aids
- Improved Sleep Hygiene
Weight loss should be recommended for all overweight OSA patients, and should be combined with a primary treatment for OSA (CPAP or oral appliance) due to the low success rate of dietary programs and the low cure rate by dietary approach alone.
Ref: Adult Obstructive Sleep Apnea Task Force of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol.5, No. 3, 2009
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy involves a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) that treats Obstructive Sleep Apnea by moving the lower jaw slightly forward. This movement tightens the soft tissue and muscles of the upper airway, which prevents obstruction while you sleep.
CPAP (Continuous Airway Passage)
CPAP is worn at night while sleeping and is applied through a tube and mask that covers the nose. The tube and mask is attached to a pump that generates air pressure which splints the structures in the back of the throat, holding the airway open during sleep.
There are several different surgical procedures with varying degrees of success. The intention of surgery is to create a more open airway so obstructions are less likely to occur. Surgery can be quite invasive and sometimes worsen the apnea. One surgical procedure is the removal of the soft palate including the uvula and excess tissue.
Pharyngeal exercise has been shown by a limited number of investigations to show an improvement in sleep apnea and snoring. Click Here to Learn More