Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Austin, TX

Is Snoring Really a Symptom?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Austin, TXHeavy snoring seems to be a bigger issue with older patient populations rather than younger patients.

One of the most common reasons it occurs is the tendency of older patients to collect fatty tissue in critical areas in the air passage ways.

With our spouses, who wake us up at inconvenient times, we all typically wake up our better half and tell them to roll over onto their side. Sometimes pushing on them tends to speed up the response.

We all know, though, some snorers will roll back.... or start snoring in literally any position.

Airway Collapse

The airway passage area that causes the bulk of the symptoms tends to collapse when we are lying on our backs. Rolling over to being on our side, for most people, decreases or eliminates the amount of collapse.

In advanced cases however, snoring can occur in nearly any position... even when sitting up.


Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB)

Disordered breathing commonly refers to difficult or labored breating caused by an airway obstruction.

SDB causes a loss of muscle tone called airway patency. Shallow breathing or cessation of breathing can occur briefly. For many patients, this can occur as often as 3000+ times a night.

The soft tissues in your airway relax against the tongue, interrupting the air flow to the lungs. In severe cases complete airway collapse can occur, where the airway gets sucked closed.

Sleep Disordered Breathing leads to snoring, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS).

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome occurs more in younger women and is often accompanied by headaches, Gastroesophegeal Reflux Disease (GERD) and asthma.

Risk Factors Include:
  • Getting older
  • Weight gain
  • Snoring
  • Small Jaw, Thick Neck (greater than 17” males, 16” females)
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Family history
  • Anatomy and physiology of the airway
  • Malformation of the orofacial area (misaligned teeth, jaw, palate)
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Menopause
  • Progesterone/Estrogen deficiency

The Importance of Deep or REM Sleep

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is a necessary part of daily living. REM sleep allows our blood pressure and heart rate to drop to very low levels. This lowered activity is an important relaxation event that we all need for the feeling of being "rested."

If you are not sleeping well, the body is unable to relax properly or adequately. Left untreated, Cardiovascular Disease can occur.


Common Sleep Symptoms

Many patients are not aware of how extensive their symptoms may currently be. Sleep disturbances caused by airway obstructions will create a cumulative group of symptoms that affect our everday, waking activities.

If you suspect you have a tendency to fall asleep in situations reflected in the following list, you may be a candidate for treatment:

  • Sitting and reading
  • Watching TV
  • Sitting inactive in a public place (e.g. theater or meeting)
  • As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break
  • Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit
  • Sitting and talking to someone
  • Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol
  • In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic

     Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard
Oral Appliance Example 1 
  Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance
Oral Appliance Example 2 
  Oral Appliance in Austin, TX
Oral Appliance Example 3 
 

Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea
Oral Appliance Example 4 

Effective Treatment Options

CPAP Masks are a fairly common treatment for mild to severe cases.

There are many types of CPAP devices and masks that can provide different degrees of comfort and convenience for patients.

While the bulk of these are "external" in nature, new devices are now available that are internal, in that they reposition the lower jaw during sleep.

SomnoBrux Oral Appliances

Oral Appliance Example #1 Many patients have difficulty using the various CPAP mask devices. Some mask designs are discovered to be too bulky or uncomfortable.

Advancements in the treatment of airway passage obstruction have led to the development of oral appliances that create the ideal jaw positioning during sleep.

Custom Fitted

No two jaws are alike. Special impressions are made to assure accurate repositioning of the jaw that is comfortable, feels natural and promotes sleep rather than interrupt it.

Oral Appliance Example #2 Several different designs are available for patients to choose from that deliver the desired results without the use of a mask and air pump.

The adjacent pictures represent just a few of the many types of appliances available.

Patients who currently use a CPAP mask apparatus are encouraged to investigate the advantages of oral appliances.
Before & Afters
 
 


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M.D. and D.D.S. Treatment Specialty

Dr. Scalzitti works closely with Dr. James Pohl, a Board Certified sleep doctor who is located at 801 R R 620 South, Lakeway, Tx. 78734 (telephone: 512-263-4230).

Drs. Pohl and Scalzitti work together to provide patients with the highest quality of sleep medicine care available in Austin, Bee Cave, Spicewood, Westlake, Marble Falls, Burnet, Leander, Dripping Springs, Lakeway and the surrounding Lake Travis area.

Patients seen by Dr. Pohl who have mild to moderate sleep apnea, or who cannot tolerate the C-Pap are referred to Dr. Scalzitti to be evauated for an oral appiance.

She also maintains an office with Dr. Pohl, so she can treat sleep apnea in this office or her own.


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