Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Treating Sleep Apnea on the Emerald Isle

A recent article in the Irish Times gives some sound advice for putting the kibosh on snoring.

Snoring can damage the sleep quality of both bed partners and incur the jabbing elbows of an aggravated spouse, but the reporter warns readers not to get too excited for the “cures” found on store shelves. Sleep experts question the long–term benefits of products like nasal strips, sprays and rings used to stop snoring.

Snoring may be a sign of a more serious condition. Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are often confused.

The Official Blog of the AADSM reported on snoring and sleep apnea in America earlier this month.

Not all people who snore suffer from OSA. An estimated one in eight Americans snores. Of these 30 million snorers, more than half, or 18 million, suffer from sleep apnea.

Left untreated, sleep apnea can impair memory, concentration and mood. It also puts a person at risk for heart disease and stroke.

AADSM member, John O’Brien, BDS, helps many sleep apnea patients at his practice in Dublin, Ireland.

Once a patient is diagnosed with sleep apnea by a sleep physician, Dr. O’Brien can fit him or her with a custom-made dental device.

This oral appliance helps the sleep apnea patient breathe at night by moving his or her jaw and tongue forward, opening the airway.

“People are wandering around not realizing they are half asleep and it is only after they have used the appliance for a while do they realize the difference a good night’s sleep makes,” said Dr. O’Brien.

There are many oral appliances that treat snoring and/or sleep apnea.

Image by Joe H

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.