Sleep apnea is a condition that causes people to stop breathing while they are sleeping, for up to ten seconds at a time. It sounds to others as if the person were snoring, but it is in fact a health issue that may lead to further serious complications if not corrected. The muscles in the tongue and throat relax, the tongue drops back into the airway, and the airway is thus narrowed. The air that travels through moves more quickly and causes a vibration that produces the sound we refer to as snoring.
The danger involves a reduction of oxygen to the blood and brain. The brain responds by signaling to the airway to unblock itself by tightening up, which causes the person in turn to snort abruptly. The cycle repeats itself throughout an evening’s sleep and causing the person to feel exhausted the next morning by the lack off a good night’s rest. This conditions other side effects include: moodiness, headaches, daytime fatigue, and the inability to concentrate well.
Although a patient can take other measures to assist himself by eliminating nasal congestion, refraining from eating large meals before bedtime, avoiding caffeine, alcohol, sleeping pills, nicotine and strenuous exercise before bedtime, the condition needs to be diagnosed by a doctor and treated accordingly. Dr. Hui may help by employing a custom-fit dental appliance that prevents the jaw from slipping back and opening up the airways during sleep – it reduces snoring and fosters a good night’s rest.