It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of American adults snore on a nightly basis. While this habit can be disruptive, it does not indicate a health risk. What is concerning is that, of those who snore, 20 to 40 percent have sleep apnea. The difference between the two is significant. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder. If you worry that you might suffer from it, Anderson Aesthetic & Family Dentistry can help you in your search for sleep disorder doctors in Anderson, S.C.
When snoring occurs, it is because airflow is slightly impeded by soft tissues. This is what makes the telltale sounds of snoring. Sleep apnea, on the other hand, involves brief complete blockages. When no air is getting through the airway, no oxygen can get to the brain. Because hundreds of episodes can occur in a night, the cumulative effect of this deprivation can have serious consequences.
This is a sleep disorder characterized by the cessation of airflow during sleep. Essentially, a sleep apnea patient will stop breathing numerous times a night. The term apnea refers to the period when the breathing stops or is reduced for ten seconds or longer. During sleep, the muscles of the upper palate and throat relax. This causes them to collapse and block the airway.
If you experience any of these symptoms, a consultation to discuss sleep apnea therapy could be extremely beneficial to your quality of life. Women who are nearing menopause, and individuals who are overweight have a higher risk of developing this condition, but help is available in our Anderson office.
There are two primary ways in which sleep apnea is managed. In addition to lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise to maintain a healthy weight, medical therapy may be necessary. One of the common treatments prescribed by physicians is CPAP therapy. Patients wear a mask or cannula while they sleep. At the other end is a small air compressor that creates pressure to maintain an open airway.
CPAP therapy can be a valuable tool in treating sleep apnea, especially severe cases. The issue with this approach is compliance. It is estimated that only 20 percent of patients use their device for longer than one year.
An alternative treatment to the CPAP for sleep apnea, for cases of mild to moderate sleep apnea, is to wear an oral appliance that repositions the lower jaw. Oral appliance therapy opens the airway by moving the tongue or jaw into a forward position; it's that simple. According to statistics, more than 90 percent of patients comply with oral appliance therapy. Many patients refer to their oral appliances as anti-snoring devices, as not only do they keep the airways open, but they drastically reduce the occurrence of snoring. In some cases, this method is used as an adjunct to CPAP.
We are committed to helping each patient achieve not just outstanding oral health but overall physical wellbeing. That is one reason why we choose to help sleep apnea sufferers and what makes us an excellent resource in your search for sleep disorder doctors in Anderson, S.C. We also want to reassure our neighbors in Belton and Greenville County that we are more than happy to help you achieve your optimal self.
Call us today if you suffer from sleep apnea or are afraid that you have it. We can help you. Find your nights of restful sleep again. (864) 224-7812.