Is My Snoring Sleep Apnea?


Is My Snoring Sleep Apnea?

Is My Snoring Sleep Apnea?

Posted on Thursday, February 17th, 2022 at 10:04 pm    

Is My Snoring Sleep Apnea?

Snoring is definitely a pain, especially for our sleep partners. But did you know that snoring can also be a sign that you are suffering from sleep apnea.

How can you know the difference?

The only way to know whether your snoring is related to sleep apnea is a sleep test, but you can definitely ask yourself some simple questions that will give you insight into whether your snoring may in fact be related to sleep apnea.

Question One – How loud is your snoring?

Snoring occurs when your airway narrows while sleeping which leads to changes in the airflow that then causes vibrations in your nose, mouth or throat.

Sleep Apnea occurs when your airway isn’t just narrow, but actually collapses when sleeping which cuts off your body’s air supply.

The level of your snoring can actually tell you when airway narrowing is more likely to lead to collapse. Deep, loud snoring means that the airway is narrowing in your mouth or throat where collapse is more likely.

High-pitched snoring can mean there is narrowing in your nose and is less likely to be linked to airway collapse. Meaning, it is less likely to be related to sleep apnea.

Question Two – Does your snoring end in gasping and choking?

Many times your sleep partner can and will actually hear your airway collapsing. This sounds more like a snore that ends in gasping and or choking. Often times there may even be a slight pause between when your snoring stops (because you are essentially being strangled by your throat) and then your gasping or choking starts (your brain is detecting oxygen shortages and fights to start breathing again).

When this happens you may even wake from your sleep, but many times you will not. In this state, it is possible that you stop breathing hundreds of times in your sleep – not even knowing it. For our sleep partners, this all is very frightening.

What Are Sleep Apnea Symptoms?

Snoring is definitely a very noticeable symptom, but it is not the only one. Here are other symptoms to be aware of:

  • Waking up tired, even after a full night’s sleep.
  • Having a headache when you immediately wake up.
  • Going to the bathroom often at night.
  • Feeling sleepy during the day.
  • Literally dozing off during the day, at work, watching TV or even while driving.
  • Needing extra caffeine in the morning to feel energized.
  • Loss of interest in things that you enjoy.
  • Irritability.
  • General difficulty concentrating.
  • Memory loss.

Some of these symptoms may seem “normal”. Nowadays it is common to hear people say, “everyone is tired” or “we all need coffee in the morning.” This is definitely true in many of our lives, however, that does not mean that one may not be suffering from sleep apnea, that is undiagnosed.

If any of this resonates for you, your sleep partner or even your friends and family, it is wise to consider the next steps to get a sleep study done.

What Are Your Next Steps?

A sleep test is the only true way to diagnose sleep apnea and if in fact what you are experiencing is sleep apnea. Traditional tests are done in a sleep lab, but many major medical insurance companies now recognize take home sleep studies. These studies are done in the comfort of your own bed and home. The readings that are measured while you sleep are analyzed by a Pulmonologist and you will then get your true diagnosis of whether you are suffering with mild, moderate or severe sleep apnea.

Your best treatment will depend on your sleep apnea. The gold standard has always been a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy (CPAP). However, in recent years many Doctors are recommending the use of oral appliance therapy. Even patients diagnosed with severe sleep apnea who have been CPAP intolerant, oral appliance therapy has great success with these patients.

Meet Our Sleep Apnea Team at Babylon Dental Care

Do you believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea? Let our sleep dentist, Dr Clifford Brown and his team help you get a take home sleep test. If your test shows that you are in fact suffering from Sleep Apnea, Dr Brown can create a custom sleep appliance for you.

Dr Brown has over 20 years of experience in oral appliance therapy. Our sleep team will work with you to navigate the process, as well as, ensuring your needed care is covered by your medical insurance company.

To learn more about taking the first steps in seeking treatment, contact us.
Or take 3 minutes to take our sleep assessment now. Together we look forward to returning you to a safe and restful night’s sleep.

What You Need to Know About CPAP Intolerance

Posted on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 at 7:17 pm    

Treating obstructive sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) can be effective. A tube connects a mask covering the nose and mouth with a machine to deliver pressurized air into the airway. The device keeps your airway open so you can breathe while you sleep. Unfortunately, some people suffer from CPAP intolerance, which prevents them from treating their sleep apnea with CPAP therapy.

CPAP intolerance is a serious problem and can worsen sleep apnea symptoms. Many times, someone will take a CPAP machine home with them and realize they can’t use it. Instead of looking for another solution, they accept that they must continue to suffer from their symptoms.

Common factors associated with CPAP intolerance include:

  • Leaking mask
  • Latex allergy
  • Poorly fitting mask
  • Uncomfortable straps and headgear
  • Interrupted sleep from noises made by the CPAP machine
  • Claustrophobia
  • Limited ability to move while sleeping

When sleep apnea patients don’t receive adequate treatment, CPAP intolerance can increase the risk of developing various medical issues, such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Treating Sleep Apnea Symptoms with Oral Appliance Therapy

Obstructive sleep apnea causes repeated episodes of stopped breathing while a person sleeps. The most common symptoms of this sleep-related breathing disorder include:

  • Night sweats
  • Loud snoring
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Restlessness while sleeping

Without the necessary treatment, obstructive sleep apnea can negatively impact your overall health. You face sleepless nights, daytime fatigue, and a range of health issues. You might think there isn’t a solution to your problem with CPAP intolerance. However, you could benefit from an alternative treatment.

Oral appliance therapy can prevent your airway from collapsing as you sleep. An oral appliance fits like a retainer or mouthguard. It supports the jaw in a forward position or holds the tongue in place to promote breathing.

You can choose from four popular devices based on your needs:

  • Respite Blue+ – This oral appliance is customizable, so it fits comfortably in the mouth. Interlocking wings and a dual block design allow wearers to sleep in their favorite position while the device keeps their airway open.
  • The Adjustable Herbst – The Adjustable Herbst consists of two pieces with a hinged mechanism on the upper and lower parts. Advancement of the mandible and titration is possible using the advancement screws on the hinged mechanisms.
  • The EMA – The smallest appliance offered to patients is the Elastic Mandibular Advancement (EMA). A strap with varying flexibilities and lengths keeps two individual trays together. The wearer can enjoy the comfort and lateral movement from the 2 mm vacuum form material on the trays.
  • Dynaflex Dorsal – One of the most popular appliances to treat obstructive sleep apnea is the Dynaflex Dorsal. The device is made of two pieces and allows for comfort and lateral jaw movement. The hardware on the device also keeps the lower jaw in place while the wearer sleeps.

Contact Silent Night Therapy

At Silent Night Therapy, we believe every patient deserves quality sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea affects your health and can interfere with your daily routine. You should explore your options for treatment to manage your symptoms and sleep more soundly.

If you’re suffering from sleep apnea and CPAP intolerance, oral appliance therapy might be the treatment for you. Call Silent Night Therapy at 631-983-2463 today for your next appointment.

How to Diagnose Sleep Apnea

Posted on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 at 4:07 pm    

Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder that causes a person to repeatedly stop and start breathing as they sleep. Three main types of sleep apnea could develop:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea – This is the most common type of sleep apnea, causing the muscles and soft tissue at the back of the throat to relax. It blocks the airway, making it difficult to breathe while sleeping.
  • Central sleep apnea – Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain doesn’t transmit necessary signals to the muscles responsible for controlling breathing.
  • Complex sleep apnea – With complex sleep apnea, a person experiences symptoms of both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.

The most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Trouble staying asleep
  • Gasping for air while sleeping
  • Morning headaches
  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes of stopped breathing during sleep
  • Irritability
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake
  • Waking up with a dry mouth

If you notice any signs of sleep apnea, you should contact a sleep specialist immediately. Diagnosing this breathing disorder is crucial so you can begin treatment to manage the symptoms.

Tests Available for Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

An experienced sleep specialist can perform a range of tests to diagnose your sleep disorder. The specialist will obtain information regarding your sleep history and the symptoms you’re experiencing.

Most people don’t realize they might have sleep apnea until a partner informs them of their loud snoring and their stop-breathing episodes. It’s a good idea to bring your partner with you to the evaluation. They could offer details you might not know.

A sleep study is a valuable test to diagnose sleep apnea and other breathing disorders. You can undergo a sleep study at home or in your doctor’s office.

During the test, equipment hooked up to your body monitors various bodily functions as you sleep, such as:

  • Heart
  • Brain
  • Lungs
  • Leg and arm movements
  • Blood oxygen levels
  • Breathing patterns

A sleep specialist can evaluate the results of the test to determine whether you exhibited any signs of sleep apnea. If diagnosed, you can proceed with treatment to manage or relieve your symptoms for a better night’s sleep.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Oral appliance therapy is a popular treatment method for patients suffering from sleep apnea. You can wear a custom-made device in your mouth to keep your airways open as you sleep. This allows the necessary flow of air into your lungs so you can breathe easier and your sleep apnea episodes will be reduced.

Four common types of oral appliances include:

  • Dynaflex Dorsal – The Dynaflex Dorsal is one of the most popular oral appliances used for treating obstructive sleep apnea. The comfortable device contains two pieces and hardware to keep the jaw in a specific position while sleeping. It reduces snoring and allows lateral jaw movement.
  • Respite Blue + – The Respite Blue+ is a custom oral appliance that keeps the airways open using a dual block design and interlocking wings. The wearer can sleep in any position and still breathe easily.
  • The Adjustable Herbst – This two-piece device consists of hinged mechanisms on the lower and upper faces with advancement screws. The screws allow titration and advancement of the mandible.
  • Elastic Mandibular Advancement (EMA) – The EMA is the smallest device out of these four. There are two individual trays consisting of two millimeter vacuum form material. The straps on the device can vary in flexibility and length, allowing for lateral jaw movement.

Contact Silent Night Therapy

Silent Night Therapy provides a range of services our patients need to sleep better at night. If you suffer from sleep apnea symptoms, you should contact us for an appointment. We can perform a sleep test to diagnose your breathing disorder and create a customized treatment plan.

Your journey to quality sleeps starts with Silent Night Therapy. Call us at 631-983-2463 today.