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Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance

Nearly 30 million Americans have sleep apnea symptoms and 80+% of sleep apnea patients remain undiagnosed. With the help of our sleep apnea Dental Appliance CPAP alternative – we are giving people the quality of sleep they once had. Jonathan from Atlanta GA says: “Getting more sleep changes everything. It’s life changing!”

Across the country, sleep apnea patients are waking up refreshed and feeling alive again. Enjoy their stories as they escape the sleep apnea fog and live the life that makes them whole.

sleep apnea dental appliance

Don’t just take our word for it. Hear what people have to say about our Sleep Appliances, in their own words.

Joanne, Long Island NY – “You can actually drink water at night, which I do often. I can speak with it, and it’s very easy to take off.”

If you have sleep apnea symptoms or someone you care for does – then schedule a consultation appointment today and we can help you get that good night sleep.  We offer comfortable at-home testing and sleep apnea solutions. Please email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.




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Sleep Apnea Treatments

We offer sleep apnea treatments that are small, convenient and easy to maintain. Joyce says: “I just pop it in and I sleep right until I wake up. I am approaching the day knowing that I can conquer anything.” This small mouth appliance is so much better than the common CPAP machine.

Interested in starting treatment with a comfortable and easy Sleep Appliance but don’t know where to start? It might be easier than you think.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat and block the airway during your sleep. It restricts the flow of oxygen and causes common OSA symptoms like snoring or gasping. Our Sleep Appliances work by moving the jaw and tongue in an optimal position to maintain an open airway — all without respirators or tubes.

Sleep Apnea Treatments

 

5 benefits of our sleep appliances:

  • Covered by Medical Insurance
    • Most medical insurance covers our appliances. Four of our appliances are accepted under Medicare.
  • Hassle Free
    • No hoses. No mask. Easier care and no need to repurchase consumables. Travel light, everywhere.
  • Fully Customized
    • Wide variety of appliances that are customized for more effectiveness and comfort.
  • Provided by Dental Sleep Professionals
    • Our professionals are well educated and experienced with dental sleep medicine and sleep apnea treatments.
  • Sleep Naturally
    • You can sleep in any position you like, even on your side, and of course next to your partner.

If you have sleep apnea symptoms or someone you care for does – then schedule a consultation appointment today and we can help you get that good night sleep.  We offer comfortable at-home testing and sleep apnea solutions. Please email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.




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Sleep Apnea Driving and Pilots

On a daytime flight one February day in 2008, a commercial aircraft with three crew members and 40 passengers flew past its destination airport after both the captain and first officer fell asleep. The pilot awoke and turned back to the destination airport, where all deplaned safely – but behind schedule. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that contributing factors to the incident were the captain’s undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and the flight crew’s recent work schedules, which included several days of early-morning start times.

Sleep Apnea Driving

To prevent events likes this from happening again, the goal of the FAA and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles (including large trucks and buses). One mechanism used to facilitate this effort to avoid sleep apnea driving is the updating of current, and the development of new, medical fitness standards and guidelines for medical examiners who are responsible for certifying drivers including DOT CDL as fit for duty. A pilot compliance recorder can be used for NTSB compliance.

Apnea is a medical term that means “being without respiration.” Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized as a repetitive upper airway obstruction during sleep, as a result of narrowing of the respiratory passages. Most people with this disorder are overweight and have higher deposits of adipose (fatty) tissue in their respiratory passages, and the size of their soft palates and tongues are larger than average. These conditions decrease the size of the upper airway and decrease airway muscle tone, especially when sleeping in the supine (back down and horizontal) position. Gravity can pull tissue down and over the airway, further decreasing its size, impeding air flow to the lungs during inhalation. Typically, a person suffering from OSA is not aware of the condition. The only way OSA and sleep apnea driving can be detected is through a sleep study.

Once recognized and identified, OSA is highly treatable, either with surgery or non-surgical approaches. Obviously, non-surgical methods should be tried first –

  • Behavioral changes
    • Change sleeping position (sleep on side or stomach).
    • Change sleeping environment (mattress, light level, temperature, etc.).
    • Lower body fat (10% weight loss will decrease the OSA index by 25%).
  • Dental appliances
    • Dental appliances that thrust the lower jaw forward or otherwise open the airway are an excellent treatment for mild-to-moderate OSA and are about 75% effective.
  • Continuous positive airway pressure —(CPAP) machine
    • Probably the best, non-surgical treatment for any level of OSA.
    • Uses air pressure to hold the tissues open during sleep.
    • Decreases sleepiness, as measured by surveys and objective tests.
    • Improves cognitive functioning on tests.
  • Medications
    • Any medication taken for OSA must be approved by the FAA.
    • Nasal steroid sprays are effective.
    • Medications that have been studied include medroxyprogesterone, acetazolamide, and theophylline.

Many of our sleep appliances have a compliance monitor component that complies with FAA and DOT requirements. If you, or someone you care for is struggling with sleep apnea driving, restlessness or snoring then we invite you to visit the Kerrville clinic for at-home testing and sleep apnea solutions. Please email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.




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Sleep Apnea Health Risks – Nearly 1 Billion Have It

A new data analysis presented by ResMed at the ATS 2018 International Conference indicates that the prevalence of sleep apnea health risks impacts more than 936 million people worldwide—nearly 10 times greater than previous estimates.

Sleep Apnea Health Risks

 

“The research and findings are a revelation in sleep apnea research and represent a vastly under reported major public health issue,” says Adam Benjafield, ResMed vice president of Medical Affairs and lead study researcher, in a release. “This new study demonstrates a need for expanded awareness around the diagnosis and treatment of OSA worldwide.” The study “Global Prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)” was conducted by an international panel of researchers seeking to provide a clear scope of the impact of the chronic sleep-disordered breathing condition.

The previous estimation of OSA prevalence (100 million) came from a 2007 World Health Organization study that used methods and data available at the time. By analyzing technology improvements in detecting OSA and under reported statistics from other areas of the world, this latest study depicts an impacted population significantly larger than previously identified.

ResMed chief medical officer Carlos M. Nunez, MD, says, “This study should encourage physicians to talk with their patients about how sleep affects our overall health. Those who have sleep apnea health risks don’t often realize they have it and, therefore, don’t realize they can do something to mitigate the resulting chronic fatigue or its more harmful long-term health risks. It should also cause more people to ask themselves, ‘Do I or my bed partner have this?’  Sleep apnea isn’t just a disease for older, overweight men, as once thought. It affects people of all ages, all ethnic and racial groups, all states of health, and is not gender specific. In fact, nearly half of newly diagnosed patients are female.”

A great night of sleep could be just around the corner! If you, or someone you care for is struggling with restless sleep, snoring or potential sleep apnea, we invite you to visit the Kerrville clinic for sleep apnea solutions, email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.




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Sleep Apnea Symptoms and Risk Factors

There are many sleep apnea symptoms, and the most common is snoring. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring is likely to be a sign of sleep apnea when it is followed by silent breathing pauses and choking or gasping sounds. People with sleep apnea often have daytime sleepiness or fatigue.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Common sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Loud or frequent snoring
  • Silent pauses in breathing
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Choking or gasping sounds
  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
  • Nocturia (waking during the night to go to the bathroom)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Irritability

 

Risk Factors:

The major risk factor for sleep apnea is excess body weight. You are much more likely to have sleep apnea if you are overweight or obese. However, sleep apnea can occur in slim people too. Common risk factors for sleep apnea include:

Male gender – Sleep apnea is more common in men than in women. For women the risk of sleep apnea increases with menopause.

Middle age – Sleep apnea can occur at any age. However, it is more common between young adulthood and middle age.

Excess weight – Your risk for sleep apnea is higher if you are overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more or obese with a BMI of 30 or higher.

Large neck size – Your risk for sleep apnea is higher if you have a neck size of 17 inches or more for men, or 16 inches or more for women. A large neck has more soft tissue that can block your airway during sleep.

Family history – Sleep apnea is a heritable condition. This means that you have a higher risk of sleep apnea if a family member also has it. Inherited traits that increase the risk for sleep apnea include obesity and physical features such as a recessed jaw. Other common family factors – such as physical activity and eating habits – also may play a role.

Hypertension – High blood pressure is extremely common in people who have sleep apnea.

A great night of sleep could be just around the corner! If you, or someone you care for is struggling with restless sleep, snoring or potential sleep apnea, we invite you to visit the Kerrville clinic for sleep apnea solutions, email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.




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Sleep Apnea Coping

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea, or simply sleep apnea, can cause fragmented sleep and low blood oxygen levels. Sleep apnea coping is challenging, the combination of disturbed sleep and oxygen starvation may lead to hypertension, heart disease and mood and memory problems. It also increases the risk of drowsy driving. The “apnea” in sleep apnea refers to a breathing pause that lasts at least ten seconds. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite efforts to breathe. Another form is central sleep apnea, in which the brain fails to properly control breathing during sleep. Obstructive is far more common than central.

sleep apnea coping

What Causes Sleep Apnea?
There are a number of factors that increase risk, including having a small upper airway (or large tongue, tonsils or uvula), being overweight, having a recessed chin, small jaw or a large overbite, a large neck size (17 inches or greater in a man, or 16 inches or greater in a woman), smoking and alcohol use, being age 40 or older, and ethnicity (African-Americans, Pacific-Islanders and Hispanics). Also, OSA seems to run in some families, suggesting a possible genetic basis.

Who Has Sleep Apnea?
More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea. It is very difficult at present to estimate the prevalence of childhood OSA because of widely varying monitoring techniques, but a minimum prevalence of 2 to 3% is likely, with prevalence as high as 10 to 20% in habitually snoring children. OSA occurs in all age groups and both sexes.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Chronic snoring is a strong indicator of sleep apnea and should be evaluated by a health professional. Since people with sleep apnea tend to be sleep deprived, they may suffer from sleeplessness and a wide range of other symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, learning and memory difficulties, and falling asleep while at work, on the phone, or driving. Left untreated, symptoms of sleep apnea can include disturbed sleep, excessive sleepiness during the day, high blood pressure, heart attack, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, stroke or depression.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, the first thing to do is see your doctor. Bring with you a record of your sleep, fatigue levels throughout the day, any other symptoms you might be having, and forms of sleep apnea coping. Ask your bed partner if he or she notices that you snore heavily, choke, gasp, or stop breathing during sleep. Be sure to take an updated list of medications, including over the counter medications, with you any time you visit a doctor for the first time.

A common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP). CPAP is a mask that fits over the nose and/or mouth, and gently blows air into the airway to help keep it open during sleep. Using the CPAP as recommended by your doctor is very important for sleep apnea coping.

One of the most common methods used to diagnose sleep apnea is a sleep study, which is performed at a sleep center. The sleep study monitors a variety of functions during sleep including sleep state, eye movement, muscle activity, heart rate, respiratory effort, airflow, and blood oxygen levels. This test is used both to diagnose sleep apnea and to determine its severity. Sometimes, treatment can be started during the first night in the sleep center.

Other methods of treating sleep apnea include: dental appliances which reposition the lower jaw and tongue; upper airway surgery to remove tissue in the airway; nasal expiratory positive airway pressure where a disposable valve covers the nostrils; and treatment using hypoglossal nerve stimulation where a stimulator is implanted in the patient’s chest with leads connected to the hypoglossal nerve that controls tongue movement as well as to a breathing sensor. The sensor monitors breathing patterns during sleep and stimulates the hypoglossal nerve to move the tongue to maintain an open airway.

Lifestyle changes are effective ways of sleep apnea coping. Here are some tips that may help reduce apnea severity:

  • Lose weight. If you are overweight, this is the most important action you can take to cure your sleep apnea (CPAP only treats it; weight loss can cure it in the overweight person).
  • Avoid alcohol; it causes frequent nighttime awakenings, and makes the upper airway breathing muscles relax.
  • Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking worsens swelling in the upper airway, making apnea (and snoring) worse.
  • Some patients with mild sleep apnea or heavy snoring have fewer breathing problems when they are lying on their sides instead of their backs.

Sleep Apnea Coping
Getting adequate sleep is essential to maintaining health in OSA patients. If you have symptoms of insomnia such as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up unrefreshed, talk to your doctor about treatment options. Keep in mind that certain store-purchased and prescription sleep aids may impair breathing in OSA patients. One exception is ramelteon, which was studied in mild and moderate OSA patients and found to not harm their breathing.

The most important part of treatment for people with OSA is using their treatment whenever they sleep. The health benefits of this therapy can be enormous, but only if used correctly. If you are having problems adjusting your CPAP or you’re experiencing side effects of wearing the appliance, talk to a sleep center like ours that offer a more comfortable alternative.

A great night of sleep could be just around the corner! If you, or someone you care for is struggling with restless sleep, snoring or potential sleep apnea, we invite you to visit the Kerrville clinic for sleep apnea solutions, email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.




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Stop Snoring with Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD)

How can a Mandibular Advancement Device help you stop snoring? …

Snoring is a whole of life issue, impacting not only the snorer, but also their partner, family and colleagues. The effect is not simply about noise, but about how snoring effects energy, health, lifestyle and work productivity caused by poor sleep. Mandibular Advancement Devices or MAD’s are the answer for many to stop snoring…

What Is A Mandibular Advancement Device?

A mandible (as in Mandibular) is a jawbone and advancement means “the act of moving forward”, which means that an MAD is a gadget that fits in the mouth that moves the jaw forward.

Stop Snoring

How Does a MAD Work

A MAD helps to stop snoring by diminishing any restriction that occurs in the back of the throat by moving the jaw (and by inference your tongue) forward and away from the back of your throat which increases the size of the upper airway, thus reducing the air resistance that leads to snoring.

Typically, MAD’s fit within the mouth and are molded to your teeth to provide and substantive platform through which the upper jaw acts a fixed frame and the lower jaw is pushed forward. The best MAD’s provide a mechanism through which the advancement of the jaw can be incrementally increased until the ideal balance between the back of the tongue and the soft tissue of the throat is achieved, and snoring stops.

There are three sub-types of MAD:

  • Boil and bite MAD’s that can be bought from pharmacies and online – the fit is achieved by softening the resin/silicone with hot water, then once cooled slightly, placing in the mouth and clamping down to get a good fit; some of these devices now include the ability to adjust to suit the user
  • Semi-custom Devices where a user takes a custom mold of their teeth and then sends this away to be custom fitted and a good fit, quality device is returned, again with some ability for incremental adjustment
  • Custom Dental MAD’s – based on physician referral and custom made by dentists or sleep specialists and delivering a perfect fit and the ability to be refined and fitted by experts

Each of the above has a cost/benefit outcome with costs ranging from $40 for an off the shelf product to $2000 for a custom, dentist fitted solution. Whilst price is not the sole determinant of performance, the more you invest, the more likely you will get a better result to stop snoring.

Sleep physicians often recommend a Sleep Test prior to determining whether a Mandibular Advancement Device is the best solution.

And of course, in order to work properly, you have to wear a MAD while you sleep.

FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Side Effects Using A MAD

Because a MAD causes the jaw to move forward for extended periods ie overnight in most cases, and is braced by fitting to your teeth, some discomfort can be experienced, initially and for some enough to warrant stopping usage. The jaw can become sore and stiff, and teeth can ache and move out of alignment. In the extreme, there can be painful wear of the joints and tooth ache.

Clinical testing of MAD’s users has also identified hyper salivation, mouth dryness, tooth discomfort and jaw joint tenderness, but at relatively minor levels, offset well and truly by the benefit of stopping snoring.

How Much Does A MAD Cost

Prices for MAD’s range from $39 to $2000 with the majority of off the shelf devices being between $75 and $150 and custom devices in the $1500-2000 range

How Long Does A MAD Last

Naturally, the frequency of usage and regular cleaning will have an impact on how long a Mandibular Advancement Device will last however, you should expect a minimum of six months and up to two years effective life. Typically you would renew your off the shelf MAD every year and custom MAD’s every 3 years.

Can A MAD be Used With Dentures

No. Most MAD’s are anchored by fitting to your teeth and will not advance the jaw unless so anchored. Denture users should consider a Tongue Stabilizing Device or TSD’s.

Which Is Better, a Mandibular Advancement Device or a Tongue Stabilizing Device

Whether an MAD or TSD or other anti-snoring device is best for you is somewhat a matter of trial and error. We recommend that you consult with your doctor or physician for advice on the best solution for you; at the same time your medical practitioner or specialist can check for other sleep disorder issues such as Sleep Apnea

Does Health Insurance Cover MAD’s

Most medical insurance companies have policies the provide cover for medical sleep devices, however whether you will be covered will depend on the type of policy and depth of coverage; please consult with your health insurance provider for an up to date opinion on the inclusion of MAD’s

Are MAD’s Adjustable

The more modern and contemporary pharmacy or online sourced solutions can include a basic adjustment, with the very best ones offering increments of 1.0mm or 1/16 of an inch. Custom fitted MAD’s also include micro adjustment options.

How Do I Keep My MAD Clean

Placing your MAD in hot water should minimise any build-up of bacteria or germs; regular brushing with toothpaste or soaking in mouthwash will keep things fresh for the life of your Mandibular Advancement Device

Do I Need To Get A MAD Professionally Fitted

Fitting varies with the customisation factor. Normally an off the shelf or bought online MAD is a relatively straightforward device. Simply place the device in hot water, allow to cool, place in your mouth and let the silicone mold to your mouth. Once fitted to your mouth most MAD’s offer incremental adjustments.

Custom MAD’s are general fitted by professional sleep doctors or dentists and have a close and comfortable fit that can also be incrementally adjusted.

Are MAD’s Painful To Wear

Not usually. There may be some discomfort from having the device in your mouth, but experiencing pain would be highly unusual and if you experience pain in any way you should stop wearing the device. It can take a week or so to get completely comfortable with the jaw being held forward with a MAD.

What If Snoring Persists

Sadly there is no guarantee that Mandibular Advancement Devices will resolve your snoring problem. MAD’s don’t work for everyone, particularly if the snoring is in tandem with other health issues, but they do provide improvement for most users. Correct fitting is essential, as is ensuring the device is not damaged or worn out. A change/increase in weight can also have an impact on your snoring as can increasing your consumption of alcohol.

If your MAD does not help you stop snoring, or stops helping, it is time to consider escalating to the next level of stop snoring options:

In Summary

A Mandibular Advancement Device can often be a good next step to help you or your partner to stop snoring – they are relatively economical and because most can be adjusted they can suit a wide range of snorers.

A great night of sleep could be just around the corner! If you, or someone you care for is struggling with restless sleep, snoring or potential sleep apnea, we invite you to visit the Kerrville clinic for sleep apnea solutions, email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a  consultation.




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Sleep Apnea Myths and Facts

Here are some Sleep Apnea Myths and Facts to help you better understand the condition…

Sleep Apnea Myths

Sleep Apnea Fact – #1: It Blocks Your Breathing

Fact. The most common type of the disorder is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. It happens when your tongue, tonsils, or other tissues in the back of the throat block your airway. When you try to breathe in, the air can’t get through. Central sleep apnea is less common than OSA. It means the brain doesn’t always signal the body to breathe when it should.

Sleep Apnea Myths – #2; It Is Just Snoring

Myth. Snoring can be a symptom of the sleep disorder, but there’s a big difference between the two. People with the condition actually stop breathing up to 400 times throughout the night. These pauses last 10 to 30 seconds, and they’re usually followed by a snort when breathing starts again. This breaks your sleep cycle and can leave you tired during the day.

Sleep Apnea Is No Big Deal

Myth. All those breaks in sleep take a toll on your body and mind. When the condition goes untreated, it’s been linked to job-related injuries, car accidents, heart attacks, and strokes.

Only Older People Get It

Myth. Doctors estimate that more than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea. It’s more common after age 40, but it can affect people of all ages. You’re more likely to have the condition if you’re overweight, a man, African-American, or Latino. The disorder also tends to run in families.

Sleep Apnea Is Rare in Kids

Myth. OSA is common in children, affecting as many as 1 in 10. In most cases, the symptoms are mild, and the child eventually outgrows it. But some may start to have behavior troubles or serious medical problems because of it.

Losing Weight Can Help

Fact. You can make sleep apnea symptoms better when you shed even a small percentage of your body weight. If you’re carrying around extra pounds, talk to your doctor about starting a weight loss program. It also helps to quit smoking, so ask about treatments that can help.

Alcohol Will Help You Sleep

Myth. A nightcap may make you drowsy, but it won’t help you get the quality rest you need. Alcohol relaxes the muscles in the back of your throat. That makes it easier for the airway to become blocked in people with sleep apnea. Sleeping pills have the same effect. This is another urban legend to join the sleep apnea myths.

Lying on Your Side Can Help

Fact. If you sleep on your back, gravity can pull the tissues in the throat down, where they’re more likely to block your airway. Sleep on your side instead to open your throat. Certain pillows can help keep you on your side. Some people even go to bed in shirts with tennis balls sewn onto the back.

A Mouthpiece Might Work, Too

Fact. A dentist or orthodontist can fit you with a mouthpiece or oral appliance to ease mild sleep apnea. The device is custom-made for you, and it adjusts the position of your lower jaw and tongue. You put it in at bedtime to help keep your airway open while you sleep.

Surgery Is the Surest Way to Fix Apnea

Myth. For some people, an operation may be able to cure OSA. A good example is a child with large tonsils that block her airway. Doctors can remove the tonsils to solve the problem. Some adults can improve their symptoms with surgery to shrink or stiffen floppy tissues. But that’s not a good choice for everyone. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of an operation before you go that route. Sleep apnea myths are many – and surgery being required to solve OSA is one of them…

CPAP Is an Effective Treatment

Fact. It stands for continuous positive airway pressure. A CPAP machine blows a steady stream of air into your airway. You can adjust the flow until it’s strong enough to keep your airway open while you sleep. It’s the most common treatment for adults with moderate to severe OSA.


 

If you have sleep apnea symptoms or someone you care for does – then schedule a consultation appointment today and we can help you get that good night sleep. Email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.




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Sleep Apnea Dangers to your Health

Snoring can make for a bad night’s sleep, for you and your bed mate. It may happen because you have obstructive sleep apnea dangers to your health, which is a sign of a bigger problem.

The obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) condition raises your risk for other health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes. It can even make you more dangerous on the road. But when you treat sleep apnea, you can ease or even cure some of these issues.

Sleep Apnea Dangers

Here are seven sleep apnea dangers to your health you might face if you have OSA:

1. High blood pressure. If you already have it, sleep apnea can make it worse. When you wake up often during the night, your body gets stressed. That makes your hormone systems go into overdrive, which boosts your blood pressure levels. Also, the level of oxygen in your blood drops when you can’t breathe well, which may add to the problem.

Treatment can make a difference, though. Some people with high BP who get help for sleep apnea will see their blood pressure improve. Their doctors may be able to cut back on their BP medications. (But you shouldn’t stop or change your dose without talking to your doctor first.)

2.  Weight gain. Extra pounds raise your chances of getting sleep apnea, and the condition also makes it harder to slim down.

Treatment for OSA can make you feel better, with more energy for exercise and other activities. This can help you lose weight, which can help your sleep apnea.

When you’re overweight, you can have fatty deposits in your neck that block breathing at night. On the flip side, sleep apnea can make your body release more of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you crave carbs and sweets. And when you’re tired all the time, you might not be able to turn the food you eat into energy as efficiently, which can lead to weight gain.

3. Type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnea is common among people with this condition — 80% or more of them may have OSA.

Obesity raises a person’s risk for both disorders. Although studies haven’t shown a cause-and-effect link between sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes, not getting enough shut-eye can keep your body from using insulin properly, which leads to diabetes.

4. Heart disease. People with OSA are more likely to have heart attacks.

Sleep apnea disrupts how your body takes in oxygen, which makes it hard for your brain to control how blood flows in your arteries and the brain itself.

The causes may be low oxygen or the stress of waking up often. Strokes and atrial fibrillation — a fast, fluttering heartbeat — and other sleep apnea dangers are also linked with the condition.

5. Acid reflux. There’s no proof that sleep apnea causes this kind of heartburn, but many people say it’s a problem. Treating reflux seems to improve apnea symptoms for some people, and treating OSA helps symptoms of reflux, sleep doctors say. 

6. Car accidents. When you feel groggy, you raise your risk of falling asleep at the wheel. People with sleep apnea are up to five times more likely than normal sleepers to have traffic accidents.

7. Adult asthma. Science hasn’t proven a link to OSA, but people who get sleep apnea treatment may find they have fewer asthma attacks.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

A health clinic may recommend a machine called CPAP, short for continuous positive airway pressure. The machine, with a mask attached by a hose, often takes some getting used to. There are alternative treatments, such as mouth appliances that are less intrusive than CPAP. Make a consultation appointment with us to explore a sleep study and which option is most likely to help you feel better and avoid other health problems. It is important to sleep better and live healthier.

If you you might have sleep apnea symptoms or someone you care for does – then schedule a consultation appointment today and we can help you get that good night sleep. Email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.




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Wendy’s Story of Sleep Study Success

“My new apnea treatment gave me my energy back. Now I’m a gym regular and lost 62 lbs!”

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2004 after a trip to the doctor following a choking incident.The doctor suggested I participate in a sleep study. The results came back and I was diagnosed with Acute Obstructive Sleep Apnea.I started immediately on CPAP therapy. It took three to five months to get used to the feeling of the mask. I never really liked it but always wore it because it was all I had. I underwent orthognathic surgery in hopes of correcting my jaw and curing the apnea. Unfortunately it didn’t work so I was stuck with CPAP.

Then last year I saw an advertisement for the dental appliance. Since my apnea was so severe, the Sleep Center staff were skeptical if the Oral Appliance would work for me.  But when I learned it was covered by Medicare I made the call.

My doctor first had me participate in another sleep study with the temporary dental device to see if I might be a candidate, which confirmed that I could. Therefore, I proceeded to make the permanent device. Then I went on to take another sleep test with my permanent device a couple of months ago. The result was amazing. My AHI has dropped so low that even the Sleep Center staff are amazed.

The oral appliance is a dream come true. After some small adjustments the first day, it fits perfectly and is very comfortable. My husband has told me I’m not snoring at all at night and I can feel the difference in how rested I feel. I have so much more energy during the day. I also started going to the gym and have lost 62 pounds! My aches and pains are gone now too. It’s all connected.

I’m really enjoying my retirement now. My husband and I are avid road trippers and whereas before I couldn’t really help with the driving —because I’d get too drowsy— now I can. Plus, not having to lug around the CPAP machine when we travel is a big bonus. We’re planning a big trip to Washington D.C. in the next few months, in total about 3000 miles of driving. And of course, lots of sightseeing!

Life is good.

We invite you, or someone you care for with snoring or restless sleep to visit the Kerrville clinic for a sleep study. Email, or call us at (830) 890-5225 for a consultation.