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Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Breathe Better, Sleep Better

What is OSA?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that blocks airways and prevents one from properly breathing. OSA is a type of sleep apnea that occurs when a sleeping person stops breathing for 10 or more seconds. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as the size of oral passages and airway structures, swelling of passageways, tongue positioning, soft oral tissue, and relaxed oral muscles. OSA affects approximately 30 million U.S. adults, making it one of the most common sleeping disorders.

Those who have less than five apneas per hour are considered to have no or minimal sleep apnea, between 5 and 15 sleep apneas per hour is considered mild, between 15 and 30 apneas per hour is considered moderate sleep apnea, and above 30 apneas per hour is considered severe sleep apnea.

Potential Risks of OSA:

Leaving OSA untreated can potentially lead to many negative long term health effects.

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Acid Reflux
  • Diabetes
  • Sexual Dysfunction

Ways to Reduce OSA for Mild Cases:

  • Limit alcohol consumption or refrain completely
  • Don’t drink alcohol several hours before going to sleep
  • Don’t use certain sleep medications
  • Exercise regularly
  • Lose weight if overweight
  • Don’t sleep on your back
  • Quit smoking

Treatments for OSA:

For moderate to severe cases of OSA, professional treatment is necessary. The objective of OSA treatments is to open up the airway so that the person can breathe properly. A continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP), an anterior mandibular positioning dental device (AMP), and a mandibular advancement device (MAD) all help open up the airways and allow airflow by adjusting the position of the mouth and jaw.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea can severely affect your overall health. Be sure to look out for signs of sleep apnea and report it to your doctor or qualifying dentist immediately to get the help you need for sleep and overall health improvements.

If you believe you suffer from any of the Sleep Apnea symptoms, make an appointment for a consultation with Sleep Apnea Specialist, Dr. Anna Hong.

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