What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is when a person’s breathing pauses during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. A sleep apnea sufferer can also have a combination of these two types.

Central Sleep Apnea

This type of sleep apnea occurs because a person’s brain is not consistently sending signals to the muscles that help a person breathe. These missed signals cause a person to pause breathing as they sleep.

As terrifying as it is, this is a fairly rare type of sleep apnea. It is generally treatable with a CPAP machine. For patients who have trouble obtaining one of these machines, we may be able to help you get one through our Breath of Life program.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep disorders in Milford OH occur when the muscles and tissues surrounding the throat relax and cause the airway to collapse and block airflow into the lungs during sleep. The harder you try to breathe, the tighter the airway seals.

This airway obstruction persists until the brain tells the body to wake up. Unconsciously, obstructive sleep apnea sleep disorders sufferers close their jaws and return the tongue and throat to a normal position.

The Sleep Apnea Cycle

Couple free of sleep disorders in Milford OH

  • Falling asleep
  • Jaw relaxing
  • Airway collapsing
  • Blocked airways inhibit oxygen intake
  • Unconsciously awakening with a gasp
  • Falling back asleep

The obstructive sleep apnea cycle can repeat itself 50 or more times per hour during the night!

Contributing Factors

Chronic, loud snoring is one very common sign of obstructive sleep apnea. About 40% of people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea in Milford OH. Sleep apnea sufferers often snore because of certain factors in the structure of their airways.

Factors that may contribute to the condition as well as the symptoms of sleep apnea include: obesity, nasal obstruction, a large tongue, a narrow airway, and certain shapes of the jaw and palate. Each of these contributing factors make it difficult for air to move through breathing passages.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

There are numerous symptoms of sleep apnea. The combination experienced by each patient may vary, but these are the most commonly reported symptoms:

  • Daytime fatigue.
  • Irritability.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Depression.
  • Snoring.
  • Acid reflux.
  • Frequent nighttime urination.
  • Nighttime teeth grinding/bruxism.
  • Weight gain.

All of these symptoms can interfere with your daily routine and make you feel generally unhealthy.

The Effects of Sleep Apnea

During these periods of not breathing, the oxygen level in the blood falls. Persistent awakenings and low levels of oxygen (hypoxia) may cause excessive daytime sleepiness and mental confusion, both of which make it difficult to carry out your responsibilities. You may even be dangerous behind the wheel because of these symptoms.

Sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications, including weight gain, high blood pressure, depression, sexual dysfunction, heart attack, and stroke. All of these conditions have dire consequences for your overall health and well being.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Dr. Kitzmiller will perform a comprehensive assessment that includes reviewing the symptoms of sleep apnea and sleep disorders and then refer you to a sleep specialist to determine whether you have obstructive sleep apnea near Cincinnati. Only a sleep disorders physician can render an official obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis through an overnight evaluation called polysomnography (PSG).

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can then help with treatment. As your obstructive sleep disorders dentist, Dr. Kitzmiller will coordinate your care with your physician by reviewing the symptoms of sleep apnea with him and tailor a treatment plan to restore healthy breathing and restful slumber.

Fortunately, there are options available to effectively treat obstructive sleep apnea, including Oral Appliance Therapy, CPAP and surgery.

Dr. Kitzmiller himself is a sleep apnea sufferer and knows well the problems and symptoms of sleep apnea and sleep disorders. He offers an excellent solution: an oral sleep apnea device that will position your jaw to open your air pathway. It is comfortable, easy to use, portable and has many other advantages over using a CPAP or getting surgery.

We can help you explore these options to help you rest well every night.

Here to Help You Rest!

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of sleep apnea near Loveland OH & Cincinnati, call today. We want you to start getting a good night’s rest again!