Sleep Apnea and Snoring:
What Causes Sleep Apnea?


Think your or your partner’s snoring is nothing more than just an annoying habit? Snoring is a symptom of a much deeper, more dangerous issue called sleep apnea. Our sleep apnea specialist in Medford NY is an expert at diagnosing and treating all types of sleep apnea in adults and children. Dr. Raio is an Airway Health Specialist and Restorative Dentist with over 25 years of clinical experience. He is a strong advocate of ongoing education and remains on the cutting edge of the most advanced treatments available for the treatment of his patients. Keep reading to learn about sleep apnea, symptoms, and how to get sleep apnea treatment in Medford, NY.


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Sleep Apnea is a medical condition where you repeatedly stop and start breathing while you sleep. There are several types of sleep apnea, but by far the most common type is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This type of apnea occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax to the point of collapse and block your airway during sleep. A noticeable sign of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring.

I Have Sleep Apnea

There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. As mentioned, obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. All types can be treated by our sleep apnea doctor in Medford, New York.

1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The most common, this type of sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway during sleep. In obstructive sleep apnea, throat muscles relax and a person’s tongue and soft palate collapse against the back of the throat during sleep, closing the airway.

2. Central sleep apnea (CSA). While much rarer, this type of sleep apnea is caused by the brain failing to send the right signals to the muscles that control breathing during sleep. There is no airway blockage in CSA.

3. Mixed sleep apnea (AKA Complex sleep apnea syndrome). As the name implies, this is a combination of both OSA and CSA.

Patient Having Difficulty Sleeping

Snoring and mouth breathing is
a possible sign of sleep apnea.

 


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The Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea


The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea can be tricky to determine. This is because most major symptoms happen while you are asleep and can be completely unaware that they are happening. Unless your partner has been bugging you lately about your loud snoring, you may be completely oblivious. Luckily, there are other signs and symptoms you can look out for other than snoring.

The most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas include:

● Loud snoring
● Pauses breathing during sleep
● Gasping for air during sleep
● Frequently waking up with a dry mouth and/or feeling thirsty
● Excessive daytime sleepiness
● Difficulty staying asleep
● Difficulty focusing and paying attention while awake
● Headaches
● Irritability and mood swings throughout the day
● Napping during the day on most days
● Weight gain
● Night sweats
● Sexual dysfunction
● Anxiety and/or depression
● Poor performance in school or work
● Difficulty swallowing
● Learning and behavioral disorders in children, such as ADHD
● Bedwetting in children


Health Risks Sleep Apnea Poses


Loud snoring and the other symptoms of sleep apnea do not go away on their own. They require treatment from a specialist, such as our sleep apnea disorder doctor in Medford, NY. This is because sleep apnea poses many dangerous health risks if left untreated. They include:

● Arrhythmias
● Cardiomyopathy
● Depression
● Diabetes
● Heart Attacks
● Heart Disease
● Heart Failure
● High Blood Pressure
● Hypertension
● Obesity
● Stroke


Sleep Apnea and Snoring are Related


Some snoring is normal throughout life, such as whenever you are sick, have a stuffy nose, or if you suffer from allergies. However, chronic, loud snoring is related to sleep apnea and requires treatment from a snoring doctor in Medford. Since snoring is (most likely) caused by an obstruction in the airway, it is essential that the obstruction is cleared so that normal breathing can occur.


Mouth breathing can cause improper orofacial growth


An obstructed airway restricts the airflow and causes the individual to breathe through their mouth which can have serious physical side effects including improper orofacial growth.

Airway issues and mouth breathing cause improper orofacial growth

Before Treatment

Flattened nose, short upper lip, receding chin, and forward head posture.


Airway and sleep apnea treatment results

After Treatment

Vivos treatment opens the airway which allows for nose breathing.
Over time and with myofunctional treatment, the jaw, tongue, and lips return to its natural position.


Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea


There are many ways to receive sleep apnea treatment in Medford. Some of the most common treatments for sleep apnea include:

CPAP Machine


Treatment for sleep apnea with a CPAP machine is one of the most common treatment methods for moderate-to-severe sleep apnea. It’s probably what most people picture when they think about treatment for sleep apnea, which can scare most people away from receiving treatment in the first place.

A CPAP machine uses a mask connected to a hose that pushes pressurized air into your airway. This prevents the airway from closing, which stops snoring and alleviates the symptoms of sleep apnea.

However, CPAP machines can be loud, expensive, uncomfortable, and difficult to travel with. Partners of CPAP machine users may also experience difficulty sleeping due to the machine. There are also many dangers associated with CPAP machines, including a recent large-scale recall.


The potential health risks involved with the CPAP recall include the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam, which is used to reduce sound and vibration in these affected devices, may break down and potentially enter the device’s air pathway, according to the FDA.

If this occurs, black debris from the foam or certain chemicals released into the device’s air pathway may be inhaled or swallowed by the person using the device. These issues can result in serious injury, which can be life-threatening, cause permanent impairment, and require medical intervention to prevent permanent damage.


Alternatives to CPAP for sleep apnea

CPAP Machines are uncomfortable
and can be dangerous

Lifestyle Changes


In some cases of mild sleep apnea, the symptoms of sleep apnea can be treated with some simple lifestyle changes. These include:

● Weight loss to decrease the fat around the neck
● Adjusting sleeping position to the side instead of the back
● Avoiding alcohol, especially before bed
● Avoiding certain medications that cause drowsiness
● Quit smoking
● Exercise to improve sleep quality
● Treat nasal congestion and allergies
● Using a dental appliance to move the jaw forward and open the airway


Surgery


In severe cases, surgery can be used as a treatment option to remove obstructions that cause sleep apnea. Some examples of surgical treatments include:

● Surgery to remove the tonsils and/or adenoids
● Surgery that alters the structure of the mouth and nose
● Surgery that interacts & stimulates the nerve that goes to their tongue, producing a push-forward of the tongue. These surgeries, when successful, can actually get rid of the sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Medford NY

Sleep Apnea Surgery


Treating the Cause of Sleep Apnea, Not Masking the Symptoms


One of the leading causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the narrowing and obstruction of the airway that makes it impossible to breathe normally during sleep. The Dental Sleep medicine approach works to enlarge your airway and is totally non-evasive, virtually pain-free approach that also doesn’t involve the use of a large, loud CPAP machine.

Correcting problems within the airway may also help to eliminate many health concerns while restoring you to a life full of energy, optimism, and joy. The Dental Sleep Medicine System, utilizing various comfortable invisible appliances that incorporate patented technology that can remodel and restore the human airway to a more normal state. Upon successful completion of treatment, patients often report no further need for other traditional ongoing nightly treatments.

An exceptional alternative to other treatment methods that treats sleep apnea at its source, rather than just the symptoms, Raio Dental offers the Vivos System. Find out now if you or your loved one is a good candidate for the Vivos System by contacting our office today.


Myofunctional Therapy for Sleep Apnea and Snoring


Myofunctional therapy are exercises that help correct swallowing and promote the proper relationship between muscles of the face, mouth, and throat. The act of swallowing is one function that depends on the body’s vital balance. To swallow properly, muscles and nerves in the tongue, cheeks, and throat must work together in harmony. When a person swallows normally, the tip of the tongue presses firmly against the roof of the mouth or hard palate, located slightly behind the front teeth. The tongue acts in concert with all the other muscles involved in swallowing. The hard palate, meanwhile, absorbs the force created by the tongue.

Orofacial myofunctional therapy is painless and the exercises are relatively simple. When certain muscles of the face are activated and functioning properly, other muscles will follow suit until proper coordination of the tongue and facial muscles are attained. For success in this therapy, consistent exercise every day is necessary until the patient has corrected their improper muscle pattern. It also takes commitment by the patient, family – and time. Treatment usually consists of a regular program of exercises over a 6 – 12 month period, although treatment length may vary.


Myofunctional Therapy strengthens the mouth and throat muscles for proper form and function

Myofunctional Therapy strengthens the
mouth and throat muscles for
proper form and function


Treating the Root Cause of Sleep Apnea and Snoring in Medford New York


If you live in the Medford, NY area and are suffering from sleep apnea, we can help you. Our sleep apnea disorder doctor in Medford will help pinpoint the source of your obstruction and craft a custom, individualized treatment plan for your care.

Sleep apnea treatment does not have to involve the use of loud, uncomfortable CPAP machines. There is a better way to treat sleep apnea, and the experts at our clinic in Medford will help you every step of the way.


Sleep Apnea and Snoring FAQ


How does sleep apnea get worse?

● Sleep apnea gets worse the longer it goes untreated. As symptoms worsen, such as obesity and heart issues, the sleep apnea itself will worsen as well as part of a vicious cycle. This makes treatment imperative so that sleep apnea and its associated health risks do not worsen.

What is severe sleep apnea?

Severe obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is greater than 30 (more than 30 episodes per hour). This means that your breathing stops and restarts again 30 or more times in an hour.

Does Sleep Apnea affect my heart?

● Yes. Sleep apnea increases the risk of heart failure by 140% and the risk of coronary heart disease by 30%.

Does Sleep Apnea make diabetes worse?

● Yes. Sleep apnea can make it more difficult to manage diabetes. This is due to the decreased amount of oxygen, and an increased amount of carbon dioxide, in the bloodstream, which can cause insulin resistance.

Does Sleep Apnea increase the potential of dementia?

● Yes. Sleep apnea causes a lack of oxygen during sleep, which can cause many health issues. They include an interference with memory formation, as well as blood pressure regulation and weight control.


Schedule a Free Sleep Apnea Consultation Valued at $500


Raio Dental offers holistic sleep apnea treatment using the Vivos System. Request your complementary consultation appointment today and find out now if you or your loved one is a good candidate for the Vivos System.

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