Sleep apnea is a type of breathing disorder that occurs during sleep
When you fall asleep your body relaxes and your upper airway can close partially-usually snoring, fully which is apnea
When it closes fully you stop breathing which causes blood OX to decrease to an unhealthy level and the brain to wake. Inject adrenalin into the bloodstream
Increases muscle tone so you can breath
Then you sleep, relax and the cycle starts over again
It is also a syndrome that continues to get worse with age
What are the symptoms?
Sometimes there are no symptoms or they are so subtle they go un-noticed
It is estimated that 20M people in the country are not DX
Why do I need to treat it if I don’t have any symptoms?
Not sleeping well and not breathing well is a BAD combination
Increased risk for heart disease and stroke
Increase the risk for diabetes
Increased risk for a motor vehicle or industrial accident
To eliminate snoring
Helps with weight loss
If we sleep better, we feel better
Treating it mitigates health risks-live longer with fewer problems
How do I find out if I have sleep apnea?
The only way to find out is to have a sleep study done
Your medical insurance company will likely pay for the test IF they feel it is justified
Sometimes you have to go to a sleep lab and sometimes it can be done at home
What is the cost for the devices we make?
It depends. It depends on your unique medical situation, oral condition as well as your medical insurance situation. It can range from zero to 2000 dollars
It is most often covered by medical insurance, at least partially
Our staff is trained and has years of experience in helping you obtain the maximum benefit available from your insurance. It’s a long involved process but we do it for you as part of the cost
So what does the device actually do?
As I said, when you fall asleep the muscles around your airway relax and the airway can partially or fully close causing heavy snoring or apnea.
The devices are FDA approved, custom devices that fit snugly, but comfortably on your teeth to move the jaw slightly forward and slightly open.
This opens your airway to allow natural, healthy breathing
The devices are fully adjustable. Together, we find the best jaw position for each patient.
What are the options to treat sleep apnea?
The options are CPAP therapy- where a machine breaths for you. The ability to comply to this is 30%, as it is cumbersome and difficult to wear.
Oral Appliance Therapy which is what we do here at Cape Cod Sleep Solutions
Surgery- which has a low success rate statistically and should be a last ditch approach
How successful are the devices?
For snoring statistics show a 95% success rate in at least reducing if not eliminating snoring
OUR experience over five years of treating the disease is that apnea symptoms are significantly reduced 90% of the time. Success rates vary, but we usually meet the physicians’ standards 75% of the time.
Versus not treating the disease, the oral appliance is at least helping, sometimes partially, sometimes fully
Compared OAT (Oral Appliance Therapy) directly to CPAP
Snoring-OAT as good or better
AHI (apnea index)- CPAP better slightly
Sleep quality/architecture- OAT as good
Daytime sleepiness- OAT as good
Blood oxygen level improvement-CPAP is 3% better
Adherence/compliance-OAT is better
Side effect: OAT is better
How long do the devices last?
As with anything else in your mouth, it varies.
We have some patients that have had the same one for more than five years.
Other patients are hard on them and they need replacement after a couple of years.
Most devices are warrantied for 1-3 years, depending on the manufacturer and type of appliance.
Insurances will usually cover for a new one after three years.
Who gets sleep apnea?
Anyone can get it. It is not necessarily only in obese people
Men have it more often than women, until post-menopause where the statistics even out
All ages get it, its most often an anatomical (shape) problem in the patients’ upper airway