Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder that involves a decrease or complete stoppage of airflow despite an ongoing effort to breathe. It occurs when the muscles relax during sleep, causing soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway. This leads to partial reductions (hypopneas) and complete pauses (apneas) in breathing that last at least 10 seconds during sleep. Most pauses last between 10 and 30 seconds, but some may persist for over a minute or more. This can lead to abrupt reductions in blood oxygen saturation, with oxygen levels falling as much as 40 percent or more in the worst of cases.
The brain responds to the lack of oxygen by alerting the body, causing a brief arousal from sleep that restores normal breathing. This pattern can occur hundreds of times in one night. The result is a fragmented quality of sleep that often produces an excessive level of daytime sleepiness.
Most people with obstructive sleep apnea snore loudly and frequently, with periods of silence when airflow is reduced or blocked. They then make choking, snorting or gasping sounds when their airway opens.
We can help with effective treatment options to stop snoring and sleep apnea. The solution for many patients come in multiple forms. We will work with every patient to decide what appliances or methods are the most effective for you.