Snoring

EMA-Snoring-Appliance--Lords-.pngSnoring affects millions of people of all ages, both male and female. Treatment options include surgery, changing your sleep posture or utilizing removable oral appliances to help open the airways during sleep.

Common Causes of Snoring
Snoring is caused by the vibrations of the soft tissues of the palate and throat. These vibrations occur when air passages narrow due to weight gain or loss of tissue elasticity. Surgery to alleviate the snoring is invasive and not always successful long-term.

Snoring may be caused by::

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Health problems
  • Obesity
  • Obstructed nasal passages, including deviated septum
  • Poor muscle tone as we age
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies

Sleep Apnea

Loud snorers may have a much more serious case of blocked air passages, known as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). In sleep apnea the blockage of air is so great that air literally cannot get through to the lungs, causing repeated and often "volcanic" awakenings throughout the night as the patient struggles to get air to the lungs and prevent suffocating.

The "gold standard" treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) appliance.  When worn while sleeping it can be very effective.  Unfortunately, these machines are cumbersome and many patients do not wear their CPAP as directed. 

For mild to moderate sleep apnea, Eastbrook offers removable oral appliance therapy as a viable option.  There are many different appliances available that help to open the airway and provide a better night of sleep. These appliances have about a 75% success rate for those with mild or moderate apnea when worn as directed.

Because obstructive sleep apnea can lead to many other serious health issues, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and depression, it is extremely important to be evaluated by a sleep specialist if you feel that you may suffer from this condition.