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Understanding the causes of sleep apnea leads to effective treatment in Michigan


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Chronic, disruptive snoring may be a sign of a more serious condition. If you, or a loved one, consistently lose sleep due to excessive snoring, especially when it includes pauses in breathing, sleep apnea may be to blame. This sleep disorder is sometimes difficult to recognize, especially for the sufferer. This is because sleep apnea episodes rarely fully awakens the person affected by lapses in breathing. Some of the signs to look for include:

  • Waking with a feeling of breathlessness.
  • Waking several times a night to use the bathroom or get something to drink.
  • Waking with a sore throat or dry mouth on a regular basis.
  • Feeling extremely tired after a full night of sleep.
  • Chronic morning headaches.
  • Persistent moodiness or depression.
The presence of these symptoms, as well as others, is your signal to be evaluated for sleep apnea, a condition that may fall into one of three categories: Obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, or complex sleep apnea. Most commonly, the obstructive type leads one to receive professional care.

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage that impedes proper airflow. This may be due to the muscles in the throat relaxing the airway, large tonsils, excessive pressure from extra fat, or the size of the airway. As the airway closes, snoring becomes loud and disruptive to others, but not always to the snorer. A closed airway causes breathing to pause, which robs the brain of vital oxygen. In response, the brain disturbs sleep to prompt breathing.

Treating sleep apnea effectively requires an understanding of the underlying cause. When weight is part of the problem, a weight-loss plan may be instituted. Incorporating both medical and dental solutions to sleep apnea will facilitate optimal results.

Dr. Bernstein provides a non-invasive solution to sleep apnea with a custom oral airway appliance to be worn during sleep. This is different from the medical approach, using a CPAP machine, which has low patient compliance due to discomfort. The CPAP holds the airway open through the constant delivery of air, but an oral airway appliance comfortably places the jaw into the ideal position for airflow.

If you, or a loved one, are experiencing the symptoms of sleep apnea, professional treatment is in order. Contact us to relieve sleep apnea and return to health.


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