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Nearly everyone snores occasionally, and it is a common nightly occurrence for millions of people. What many don’t realize is that snoring is the number one sign of a dangerous condition called sleep apnea. Treatment in Highland, MI can help you sleep better, feel better, and quiet the nightly noise.

More than just snoring – understanding sleep apnea

Snoring itself is the vibration caused by air moving through a somewhat restricted airway. Apnea occurs when no air is moving, meaning the person is not breathing at all. These pauses in breath are very short, and when breathing resumes the person tends to gasp and snore loudly.

There are two potential causes of apnea. The first, which is quite rare, is neurological in origin. It is known as central sleep apnea. The more common form, known as obstructive sleep apnea, is caused by a physical blockage of the airway. This might happen due to excess soft tissue, a naturally narrow airway, or other issues with the oral structure.

Sleep apnea symptoms and risks

If you were awake, you would most certainly notice a blockage of your airway. However, apnea doesn’t strike until you are in the deep stages of sleep, when muscle relaxation is greatest. When the brain registers a lack of oxygen, it starts transitioning to lighter stages of sleep. At that point, you start breathing again, albeit quite loudly. If you have apnea, you probably never realize what is happening, though the effects on your mind and body can be devastating.

Snoring is the most prevalent symptom. Other signs of apnea include daytime sleepiness, fatigue, morning headaches, poor memory, brain fog, dry mouth in the morning, and insomnia.  

People with untreated apnea have an increased risk of:

  • Worsening ADHD
  • Diabetes
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Traffic accidents (due to fatigue)

Sleep apnea treatment options

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) tops the list of medically recommended sleep apnea solutions. Unfortunately, many people can’t tolerate the noise, discomfort, poor quality air, and oppressive feeling of wearing a breathing mask. Fortunately, there is a convenient and comfortable CPAP alternative with a high rate of patient satisfaction.  An oral appliance for sleep apnea works by supporting optimal jaw positioning, keeping the airway open to allow natural breathing. Sleep apnea devices from Milford Dental and Associates are custom made for an ideal fit and maximum effectiveness.

If you are seeking effective treatment for snoring and sleep apnea, give us a call at (248) 845-4575 and schedule an appointment.