When suddenly you cannot breathe during sleeping - Obstructive Sleep Apnea and heavy snoring...
3 July 2019| Last updated on 4 July 2019
Imagine yourself going to bed, falling asleep fast and then while sleeping peacefully you suddenly gasp for breath!
Now, imagine that happening every few minutes throughout the night, every night. Because the symptoms occur during sleep, you may not even be aware that you have a problem until your spouse brings it to your attention.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder worldwide where the person experiences sudden interruptions in breathing when the muscles and tissues within the upper airway relax and lose some of the muscle tension important for maintaining patency during sleeping. As the tissues and muscles relax, gravity often assists further and creates a blockage, thus disrupting the airflow while sleeping.
These interruptions can last anywhere from a couple of seconds to more than 30 seconds. When normal breathing pattern is restored, the sleeper typically makes a loud snort or choking sound (the body reacts by trying to regain normal breathing for proper oxygenation). Regretfully true, if sleep apnea is left untreated, it can create havoc with your quality of life.
What could be the warning symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea leads to decreased oxygen supply to the brain and other body organs. Common warning symptoms include:
- Loud snoring during sleeping or while taking a nap
- Sudden gasping or sense of choking that wakes you up
- Sense of tiredness and sleepiness during the day (because of poor quality of night sleep)
- Sore throat or dry mouth upon awakening
- Feeling disgruntled (cranky), mood changes and forgetfulness
- Headaches in the morning that are not easy to shake off
- Daytime drowsiness (this in particular puts you at risk for motor vehicle accidents)
People who snore heavily are among those with highest risk. High blood pressure (Hypertension) and brain strokes are potential health-related complications in people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: What are your options?
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) used to be the cornerstone of the treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This machine pushes air into the airways with adjustable intensities and pressures. The airway pressure essentially helps keep airways open, reduces episodes of apnea and improves oxygenation. Connected via tubing to the machine, a CPAP mask is used to deliver the air into the airway and is fastened to the back of the head by straps. However, CPAP has one major obstacle – person`s compliance! It can be inconvenient sometimes, bulky, and restricting; thus, many may not put them all night or every night. Its usefulness is unfortunately compromised by common intolerance and poor compliance, which can undermine its effectiveness.
This is why there was a pressing need all over the world for an alternative to CPAP; another non-surgical solution that is effective but without the hassle inadvertently brought about by CPAP:
Presently, Mandibular Advancement devices pose as the effective solution for so many people with heavy snoring and those with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Renowned maxillofacial surgeon and dental expert; Dr. Luis Rafael Gavin states “Thanks to advances in sleep medicine field and Dr. Gavin`s personal investigations, Mandibular Advancement devices have emerged nowadays as the ideal alternative to CPAP, and their effectiveness is proven in managing Obstructive Sleep Apnea”. Clinical guidelines now recommend their use in mild to moderate cases and in more severe cases when CPAP fails, or is intolerable.
This advanced appliance fits in the mouth over the teeth while the person is sleeping to prevent the airway from collapsing, allows for opening the back of your throat and increase airway diameter. This can make you breathe properly during his sleep.
Mandibular advancement appliance is excellent for reducing snoring. With special proficiency in sleep medicine, Dr. Gavin can comfortably fit you with a mandibular advancement appliance after you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, especially if snoring is one of its warning signs. Exclusively at Dr. Luis Gavin`s clinic at Dubai London Clinic and Speciality Hospital and without any anesthesia, surgery or pain, we will customize the devise to fit to your teeth and jaw through taking a mold of your teeth and having the device created based on that mold.
In conclusion, because of the inconvenience caused by CPAP, many people find this treatment hindering and awkward and would prefer an effective, more portable and convenient alternative to get a deeper, more restful sleep. Dr Gavin’s Mandibular Advancement devices offer such potential advantages over CPAP. They have been proven to reduce the severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and improve snoring and daytime weariness and sleepiness.
If you have sleep apnea or snore regularly, schedule your appointment with Dr. Luis Gavin to learn more about how a Mandibular Advancement device can help you finally get a good night's sleep!
Dr. Luis Gavin
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
American Board for Sleep Medicine