Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Treatment
Sleep Apnea is a serious sleeping disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. Multiple specialists are required to treat sleep apnea and through their collaboration, a suitable treatment plan will be developed.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the airways are partially or completely obstructed during sleep. Your muscles will naturally relax during sleep, including those that control the tongue and throat, which narrows the airways.
This becomes a problem when breathing and oxygen intake is dramatically reduced or stops entirely in a recurring pattern. Oxygen levels will fall causing your body to wake from sleep to restart your natural breathing pattern. These episodes will happen continuously throughout the night.
A broken, interrupted sleep from lack of oxygen to the brain causes poor concentration and slow metabolism, hence heightening the chance of micro-sleeps whilst operating a vehicle or operation of machinery in the workplace.
Studies show sufferers of Sleep Apnea are at least four times more likely to have a motor vehicle accident. Snoring, restless movements, chronic fatigue, along with laboured or interrupted breathing throughout the night are key symptoms of sleep apnea. Family, friends or partners may notice these more than the person themselves as sufferers are often unaware of these episodes.
Do I have Sleep Apnea?
Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
Snoring and heavy breathing are signs of not getting enough oxygen.
Easy to find out if you have sleeping issues:
- Questionnaires for Children and Adults
Questionnaires for ChildrenQuestionnaires for Adults
- Smart Phone App (SnoreLab) to check when you are sleeping
Our Screening Process
At Lifestyle Orthodontics we screen all our patients (both children and adults) before we consider orthodontic treatment because our treatment recommendations may differ in the presence of sleeping issues.
Our offer is also useful for anyone in your family (children or adults) who has any of the symptoms listed. We extend the offer of free screening to all of your family in the interest of your health and wellbeing
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
N.B Any one or more may be present.
Symptoms in Children
- Tiredness/ lethargy
- Dark circles under eyes
- Heavy Breathing or Snoring during sleep
- Poor performance at school
- Mouth Breathing
- Irritable, angry or hostile behavior
- Developmental and/or growth problems
- Excess perspiration at night
- Behavioral problems (ADHD)
- Night terrors
- Strange sleep positions
- Extended head posture
Effects of Sleeping Problems in Children
- Permanent impairment of intellectual capacity
- Compromised educational outcome
- Delayed or decreased Growth and Developmental Potential
Symptoms in Adults
- Witnessed breathing problems (stop breathing) by partner
- Frequently wakes during the night
- Tiredness, even after a full 8 hours sleep
- Poor concentration
- Irritability or mood changes
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Day time sleepiness
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headaches
- Night awakenings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Moodiness, irritability or depression
- Falling asleep when driving
Effects of Sleeping Problems in Adults
- Cardiac problems
- Sudden cardiac death
- Impairment of Social and Professional Activities
- Increased (8x) Car Accidents
Custom-fit by the Orthodontist, SomnoDent® oral devices treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea by moving the lower jaw slightly forward. This forward movement keeps the airway open, preventing apneas.
As sufferers are mostly unaware of their sleep and breathing patterns, an overnight ‘sleep study’ through a Sleep Physician is necessary for diagnosis through the measure of sleep, breathing and oxygen levels.
Our Orthodontists have had great success working in collaboration with Sleep Physicians to develop removable devices which prop the lower jaw forward, opening the airways and enabling the individual to maintain continuous breathing, to create a stable sleeping pattern and enhance wellbeing.