Sleep Apnea Treatment

sleep

An Alternative to CPAP!

Hate your CPAP? See Dr. John Highsmith!

Dr. Highsmith has completed advanced training to recognize and diagnose various sleep problems associated with oral misalignment of nose and mouth structure.

During sleep, the throat area relaxes, allowing these structures to collapse against one another and obstruct clear airflow.

To treat Sleep Apnea, Dr. Highsmith can prescribe and fit a special custom-made oral appliance to gently and safely hold the mouth and throat in an open position during relaxed sleep and thus prevent most snoring.

The oral appliance has proven to be highly effective in most cases in stopping snoring and treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea in the mild to moderate range. It’s an ideal solution for those with sleep apnea who want treatment, but can’t stand the thought of wearing an uncomfortable CPAP machine at night.

If you are currently wearing a CPAP successfully, don’t change what’s working! The oral appliance is not better than CPAP, it is an alternative treatment for mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea for those who cannot wear a CPAP.

We’ve used several types of oral appliances, and now use the Micro O2 appliance. When compared with using Neruomuscular Physiologic principles in taking the bite, this appliance works very well and minimizes potential complications.

http://www.micro2sleepdevice.com/#overview

Research is showing a significant overlap (up to 70%) between Obstructive Sleep Apnea, even the mild form known as Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and TMJ disorders. One does not cause the other–they are both caused by “inadequate craniofacial anatomy” which is fancy language for “not enough room for your tongue”.

For more information, take a look at this article–

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stanford-center-for-sleep-sciences-and-medicine/upper-airway-resistance_b_6649766.html

or this

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8365289

Sleep Study

If you’ve been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but haven’t yet started treatment because you have to undergo a Sleep Study, consider this: Dr. Highsmith offers a Home Sleep Study to prevent you having to spend a night at a special facility. Accurate and convenient, this Home Sleep Study gives you the results you need in the privacy of your own home. Results are sent to a board certified sleep medicine physician for diagnosis.

Many people put off undergoing a sleep study because they don’t feel comfortable going to a sleep lab or hospital. With the advanced technology used by Dr. Highsmith, you can do the sleep study in the comfort of your own home. Even your own bed!

Dr. Highsmith uses both the Watch-PAT100 and the MediByte for your home sleep study. This innovative technology provides diagnosis, treatment assessment and follow-up of sleep-related breathing disorders.

Both devices are very comfortable, so you’ll be able to sleep while you undergo your study. The technology is worn on the wrist and uses a non-invasive finger probe to measure vascular and nervous system activity that can be indicative of OSA. The MediByte uses a soft nasal canula to measure airflow.

https://www.braebon.com/products/medibyte/

The data is stored in a memory card. Once you return the device to Dr. Highsmith, he can analyze the data and determine your plan of treatment.

If you would like to learn more about the Home Sleep Study, call Dr. Highsmith today.

The Importance of Treatment

Obstructive Sleep Apnea causes daytime sleepiness, but many don’t realize that there are more serious problems associated with this disorder. Sleep Apnea patients are much more likely to suffer from:

  • Heart problems (heart attack, congestive heart failure, hypertension)
  • Strokes
  • A higher incidence of work related and driving related accidents
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Generalized inflammation
  • Bruxing (teeth grinding)

Left untreated, Obstructive Sleep Apnea can shorten the average life span by 10 years.

Treatment of OSA can be a matter of life and death. Don’t put your health at risk because of the uncomfortable CPAP.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question below to see the answer:

Have you been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Then you know how uncomfortable treatment can be. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is primarily treated with a CPAP (continuing positive airway pressure) machine. The CPAP is both uncomfortable and inconvenient. It’s essentially a gas mask, worn over the face or nose, attached to a hose of forced oxygen provided by a noisy machine. No wonder compliance is terrible! Many patients think it’s just easier to suffer from the snoring than to try to sleep wearing a CPAP face mask.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat while you’re asleep. This blocks the upper airway, causing airflow to stop. When the oxygen level drops low enough, the brain moves out of deep sleep and you partially awaken. The airway then contracts and opens, causing the obstruction in the throat to clear. The flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp. When the airflow starts again, you move back into a deep sleep. Then the process repeats… Over and over and over.

The combination of low oxygen levels and disturbed, interrupted sleep is the major contributors to most of the ill effects that the Sleep Apnea patient suffers.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat while you’re asleep. This blocks the upper airway, causing airflow to stop. When the oxygen level drops low enough, the brain moves out of deep sleep and you partially awaken. The airway then contracts and opens, causing the obstruction in the throat to clear. The flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp. When the airflow starts again, you move back into a deep sleep. Then the process repeats… Over and over and over.

The combination of low oxygen levels and disturbed, interrupted sleep is the major contributors to most of the ill effects that the Sleep Apnea patient suffers.

Think you might have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Do you snore? If you answered yes, you know how annoying snoring can be. (And so does your significant other.) Snoring can be more than an annoyance. It can be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

The real indication of sleep apnea isn’t snoring. It is when snoring stops. When the snoring stops, so does your breathing. Sleep apnea can cause a person to stop breathing for periods of time, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. This cessation of breathing can cause a variety of problems.

Do you have any of the following symptoms?
  • Daytime Sleepiness
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Morning Headache
  • Irritability
  • Impaired Memory and Judgment
  • Mood Disturbance

You may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If you suspect you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, see your family doctor immediately for diagnosis.

Dental Library: Sleep Apnea

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