Has obnoxious snoring kept you or your partner up at night? You may not realize it but you may suffer from sleep apnea. Other symptoms include sleepiness during the day, startling awake at night, shortness of breath upon awakening, or gasping for air. Many people suffer for years from this disorder before it is professionally diagnosed and it often takes a partner to recognize the signs.
What is Sleep Apnea?
There are varying degrees of this sleep problem, ranging from a mild annoyance to becoming a life threatening condition. Snoring occurs during sleep because your tongue is relaxed along with the rest of your body. This results in the tongue obstructing your airway which may cause you to wake up suddenly. This pattern continues through the night and can negatively impact your sleeping cycle.
If this condition is left untreated, there can be more serious health risks:
- Increased blood pressure.
- The risk for heart disease is higher. This is due to the sudden drop in heart rate when the airway is clogged, then the increase in heart rate when breathing reoccurs.
- There has also been a link to depression due to the interference with normal sleeping patterns.
Diagnosis & Treatment
If you are ready to stop snoring, we can help. In the past, this condition was only treated with surgery. But now there are many dental appliances available that are completely safe.
If you suspect that you or your loved one may suffer from this disorder, we have a medical questionnaire to help determine if you indeed have sleep apnea or if you simply snore. We can safely and effectively help you stop snoring right here in the office using the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) appliance. This device repositions the jaw in a forward position during sleep which means that the airway will remain open.
We also work very closely with a clinic in Evanston to treat sleep apnea patients.