what is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep, glorious sleep

A good night of sleep is very important to our overall health and ability to function effectively throughout the day. Without regular, restful sleep, we perform less effectively, become irritable, and have trouble concentrating. Persistent sleeplessness also causes stress which can lead to a number of more serious ailments.

  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • depression
  • increased blood pressure.
  • irritability
  • poor memory
  • problems in relationships.

What kills healthy sleep?

Snoring can cause sleep disruptions for both the snorer and his or her sleeping partner. Snoring is often a sign of partially obstructed breathing during sleep, but it may also be a symptom of a more serious condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) (PDF).

Signs of OSA include loud snoring, cessation of breathing during sleep, drowsiness during the day, and restless sleep.

While you are awake, your throat muscles actively maintain an open air passage so you can breathe easily. During sleep, these structures relax. For non-snorers, the airway stays clear so air can move easily into the lungs. But for snorers, the tongue drops back into the airway and causes it to narrow. As air passes through this narrower airway it makes the tissue vibrate, creating a snoring sound. OSA is an illness that causes the soft tissues at the back of the throat to completely block the airway during sleep, reducing the amount of oxygen reaching the brain.

How to treat sleep apnea

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, you should consult Dr. Amy Yoo. For mild to moderate sleep apnea cases, oral appliances may be the treatment of choice, especially if you have not had success with a CPAP machine. These devices open your airway by bringing your lower jaw or your tongue forward during sleep. It is very important to get fitted at White Oak Dental and to see Dr. Amy Yoo on a regular basis to have the appliance checked and adjusted if necessary.

Take control of your sleep

You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel when you finally get a good night’s rest. You might not realize the impact that sleep apnea has on your current energy and vitality, as well as your long-term health. Contact the office of Dr. Amy Yoo for more information about the disorder, as well as the treatment options available.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

There’s nothing funny about snoring. If you or your spouse tend to make a lot of noise during sleep, it could be a sign of a more serious disorder called sleep apnea. Snoring alone doesn’t mean your life is in immediate danger, but it is a sign that your night-time breathing is not normal.

Sleep apnea has serious consequences on your long-term health, so it’s important to deal with the problem as soon as possible. There are effective treatment options for dealing with this problem and Dr. Amy Yoo, a dentist in Calgary, specializes in treating this condition.

What exactly is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is the most severe form of sleep disordered breathing (SDB). Snoring is an early indicator of sleep apnea and is also classified as an SDB, although not all people who snore will develop a more serious problem. In fact, research suggests that nearly 100 million people in the United States snore on a regular basis.

Snoring is caused by the partial collapse of the airways that connect your mouth and respiratory organs. Sleep apnea results from a total closure of these airway passages, which completely prevents oxygen from entering the lungs. This forces the victim to wake up in order to breathe again.

Signs and symptoms

If your partner often complains about your loud snoring, then it might represent a problem that is worth examining further. Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea are similar to those of sleep deprivation, including difficulty concentrating and intense feelings of lethargy even after a full night’s rest. Individuals suffering form the disorder may frequently wake up with dry mouth, and may express irritability and restlessness throughout the day.

Risks and dangers

The dangers of this sleeping disorder go far beyond just getting woken up in the middle of the night. Sleep apnea is associated with a variety of serious health problems, including pulmonary dysfunction and digestive ailments. It’s linked to heart failure, high blood pressure, strokes and other life-threatening cardiovascular events.

How to treat sleep apnea

You can mitigate the effects of this breathing disorder by maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking and practicing a healthy sleep routine. Laying down for rest once you are completely exhausted is not good for your body. Be sure to get plenty of rest and hit the hay before you are completely out of energy.

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, you should consult with dr. Amy Yoo. She will then refer you to a sleep specialist who will perform tests to confirm a diagnosis. The most common treatment choice recommended by doctors is Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure, or a CPAP machine. A CPAP machine, with its large mask and hose, can be unwieldy and uncomfortable, and can leave users with a painfully dry mouth and nose.

For mild to moderate sleep apnea cases, oral appliances may be the treatment of choice, especially if you have not had success with a CPAP machine. Most oral appliances are acrylic and fit inside your mouth, much like an athletic mouth guard. These devices open your airway by bringing your lower jaw or your tongue forward during sleep. It is very important to get fitted by a dentist specializing in sleep apnea, and to see the dentist on a regular basis to have the appliance checked and adjusted if necessary.

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Take control of your sleep

Calgary residents suffering from severe sleep-related breathing disorders don’t need to suffer in silence. Dr. Amy Yoo is a licensed, professional practitioner who helps patients take back control of their life through appliances for sleep apnea.

You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel when you finally get a good night’s rest. You might not realize the impact that sleep apnea has on your current energy and vitality, as well as your long-term health. Contact the offices of Dr. Amy Yoo for more information about the disorder, as well as the treatment options available to help you get over this obstacle and move on with your life.