Monday, November 30, 2009

Sleep Apnea's Link to Higher Death Risk

According to the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort, an 18-year observational study supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute researchers has discovered that adults between the ages of 30 and 60 were 2-3 three times more likely to die from any cause if they suffer from sleep apnea than adults who do not suffer from this very serious breathing disorder that causes you to stop sleeping intermittently throughout your sleep cycle. Some sleep apnea sufferers stop breathing for several seconds hundreds of times per night.

In this study, 1,522 healthy men and women were tracked for over 13 years.

Approximately 12-18 million American men and women suffer from sleep disorders, and with the number of obese people rising each year, the number of people with sleep disorders will increase, also.

Sleep apnea is treatable. If you live in the Gurnee, Illinois area, sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Ira Shapira has helped countless people from all over the world with a variety of treatments.

Please contact "I Hate CPAP!" today to schedule a thorough consultation.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How Does Snoring Occur?

When the air passages at the back of the mouth and nose do not have a free flow of air, snoring will occur. Obstruction of the airways usually happens when the soft tissues in that area collapse during sleep; this collapse causes the tongue to meet briefly with the soft palate (top part of your mouth in the back) and the uvula (the hanging bell-shaped tissue in the back of your throat). The vibrations are what cause the actual sound of snoring.

Snorers may also suffer from:

Poor oral muscle tone. Relaxed tongue and throat muscles can cut off airflow. Deep sleep, alcohol and sleep medications can contribute to poor muscle tone.
Large tonsils and adenoids. Excess throat tissue can cause snoring. Being overweight can cause excess neck tissue, which is why snoring is more common in overweight individuals.

Long uvula and/or soft palate. Individuals with a long palate have a narrower opening between the nose and throat that can create noise during the relaxed breathing of deep sleep. A longer than normal uvula worsens the situation.

Nasal airway obstruction. Stuffy noses do not have a free flow of air. The extra effort it takes to breathe through a stuffed up nose creates a strong pull on floppy throat tissues, causing a snoring sound. That is why some people experience snoring only during hay fever attacks, a cold or a sinus infection.

Nose or nasal septum deformities, such as a deviated septum, can cause obstruction.

To learn more about snoring and sleep apnea, please contact Gurnee, Illinois dentist and sleep apnea specialist, Dr. Ira L. Shapira today to schedule your initial consultation.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Apnea Treatment

There are now several treatments available for sleep apnea. The three Dr. Ira Shapira, cosmetic dentist in Gurnee, Illinois has found great success with are dental appliances, medication, and surgery.

Most dental appliances are made from acrylic and fit inside your mouth like an athletic mouth guard or braces. Some appliances fit around your head and chin to help reposition your lower jaw. All dental appliances are designed to open your airway, bringing your jaw or tongue forward during sleep to reduce obstruction. Unfortunately, individuals suffering from more severe forms of sleep apnea cannot find relief with these devices.

Side effects from dental appliances include:

Mouth soreness
Permanent changes or damage to the jaw, teeth, or mouth
Build up of saliva

Specialized medication may help curb the effects of sleep apnea or complement more aggressive treatment options when taken before bedtime. Natural plant enzymes and herbs reduce congestion and swelling in the nose and throat and minimize snoring. Special nose drops or nasal sprays, and aromatherapy, have proven beneficial.

Surgery can increase airway size by surgically removing excess tissue inside the nose or back of the throat, and may include the removal of tonsils and adenoids. The jaw may be reconstructed to enlarge the upper airway. Surgery certainly carries risks, but for some, this is the best option.

To learn more about snoring and sleep apnea, please contact sleep apnea/snoring dentist Dr. Ira L. Shapira in Gurnee, Illinois today to schedule your initial consultation.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sleep Apnea and Bruxism (teeth grinding)

Patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) usually suffer from teeth grinding, also, especially male Caucasians. According to "CHEST 2009," the 75th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), nearly one in every four OSA sufferers grinds his/her teeth at night. White males make up most of this number. It is also estimated that 8% of the U.S. population grind their teeth at night.

Factors that may help explain the correlation between sleep apnea and bruxism include anxiety and caffeine intake. Untreated bruxism can lead to tooth wear and tear, tooth decay, gum disease, jaw pain, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD/TMJ), headaches and sleep disturbances for the sleep apneic and his/her partner.

Untreated sleep apnea can cause a whole host of health problems including:

Mood swings
Heart disease
Memory problems
Concentration problems
Daytime fatigue

If you suffer from snoring, sleep apnea, teeth grinding at night, or anything else associated with disruption in your breathing cycle during the night, an experienced sleep apnea dentist can explain the many treatment options to you and evaluate your case.

If you live in the Illinois area, please contact Dr. Ira Shapira today to schedule a thorough evaluation.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What is CPAP?

In obstructive sleep apnea, the relaxation of muscles when we sleep leads to the collapse of the airway, which prevents air from reaching the lungs and oxygen from being sent to the brain. When the brain senses the oxygen shortage, it partially awakes to tell the muscles to reopen the airway. This constant waking and rewaking is what prevents sleep apnea sufferers from getting regenerative sleep.

CPAP is a system for preventing airway collapse. It involves the use of a pump and an airmask that covers the nose and mouth of the person being treated, and it works by constantly pumping air into the airway with sufficient pressure to prevent airway collapse. This prevents the apneic events.

CPAP's main advantage is that it treats all levels of obstructive sleep apnea with a very high success rate when used properly. Thus, it prevents people from suffering the life-threatening consequences of sleep apnea. Optional equipment like humidifiers and in-line filters can also help people who suffer during dry periods or from allergies.

The biggest single disadvantage of CPAP is that it can be difficult to use properly. The instructions are complex, many people find it a nuisance to use, so they just don't. Even when people do use it, the mask often doesn't stay on all night, meaning that people are not receiving the full treatment necessary to combat sleep apnea. All put together, only about a third of people prescribed CPAP actually have good success with it.

In addition, those who wear CPAP often find it uncomfortable. Some find it hard to sleep, while others get breakouts from the straps or oral or nasal irritation from the air. Some CPAP machines can be noisy, making them as detrimental to partners as snoring.

Fortunately, for most people suffering from mild or moderate sleep apnea, and all snorers, there is an alternative to CPAP: oral appliance therapy. Oral appliances hold your jaw in a proper position during sleep, which in turn keeps your airways open. Oral appliances are comfortable, portable, and silent.

If you would like to learn more about CPAP and its alternatives, please contact Dr. Ira Shapira at the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center in Gurnee, Illinois, today.