May 6, 2018
Sleep apnea can dramatically affect your daily life. Not only does it make you feel exhausted and less attentive throughout the day but you’re also at higher risk of developing systematic diseases. Getting sleep apnea treatment in Cincinnati is important, so your dentist wanted patients to be aware of all the different types of sleep apnea that can appear.
Today, we’ll be discussing what they are, their differences, and what you can expect when seeking treatment. Don’t let sleep apnea wreck your daily life any longer!
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
This is the most common form of sleep apnea in the world. Its name comes from the way in which the apnea occurs. When the upper airway is blocked, typically by the tongue, palate, or other relaxed tissue, it prevents air from flowing in and out of the body. These episodes of OSA create a pause in airflow for at least ten seconds while the patient is asleep. This blockage is recognized when the brain notices changes in oxygen levels, triggering an alarm to wake up the patient. Patients often experience coughing, gasping, or choking.
For mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea, your dentist may use an oral appliance. This custom-made device is meant to shift the position of your jaw, allowing air to flow properly. Patients typically notice results in a couple weeks.
Central Sleep Apnea (CA)
In the case of central sleep apnea, the brain only fails to signal the diaphragm to keep working with the lungs and the breathing muscles. Unlike OSA, central sleep apnea involves no obstruction of the airway. The word “central” references the location where this condition begins, which is in the central nervous system. Another big difference is these episodes don’t always cause the patient to wake up. Episodes can last for long periods of time (10 seconds to a minute) and put patients in a state of “recovery” where the blood’s supply of oxygen is replenished.
In this case, the continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) may be a better option for patients. This device pushes air into the mouth through a nasal mask and prevents the episodes from occurring.
Mixed Sleep Apnea (MA)
In some cases, patients can experience both OSA and CA at the same time. This is classified as mixed sleep apnea and is usually discovered when one treatment method fails (i.e. oral appliances) and another diagnosis must be made.
For MA, your dentist may recommend combined therapy, which utilizes the CPAP machine and an oral appliance to prevent episodes. This method is also appealing to patients who struggle to use the CPAP machine alone. Using an oral appliance in tandem allows patients to adjust the CPAP machine to a much lower setting, reducing discomfort and the noise the machine creates.
Sleep apnea therapy in Cincinnati is right around the corner. Schedule a consultation with your dentist today to get treatment!
About the Author
Dr. James Striebel earned his dental education from the University of Dayton and Case Western Reserve Dental School. His 20 years of experience practicing dentistry helps patients reduce the need for a CPAP machine by providing custom-made oral appliances. To learn more about sleep apnea treatment in Cincinnati, contact him through his website.
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