Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by repeated stoppage of breathing or blockage of the airway during sleep. An apnea is a period of time that a person stops breathing for a period over 10 seconds. Apneas occur during sleep, and when they occur, sleep is disrupted. Apneas also cause the oxygen saturation in blood to drop as much as 4%. Sleep apnea is clinically defined as an apnea-hyponea index of greater than 15 episodes per hour. That index is reduced to 5 episodes per hour in patients who also suffer from high blood pressure, stroke, day time sleepiness, heart disease, insomnia, or mood disorders.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

  • Day time sleepiness
  • Failure to concentrate
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Repeated episodes of interrupted breathing when sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Scoring in excess of 9 on the [[Epworth Sleepiness Scale]] is a sign of potential sleep apnea

Non surgical treatments for sleep apnea include: behavioral changes, dental appliances, and CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). Behavioral changes include reducing and maintaining a healthy weight, and developing a regular sleeping schedule. Surgical treatments include: nasal airway surgery, palate implants, maxillomandibular procedures, genioglossus advancement, hyoid suspension, and bariatric (weight loss) surgery.

Medical Risks:

  • Heart attacks
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Sudden death