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What is Sleep Apnea?

WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?

The word “apnea” is a Greek word meaning “without breath.” Sleep apnea is generally characterized by interruptions in normal sleep patterns due to temporary pauses in breathing. It is a chronic disorder that has the potential to worsen over time. More often than not, sleep apnea is misdiagnosed or missed completely. Symptoms can be confused with a separate health problem which is actually a component of the underlying sleep disorder.

TYPES OF SLEEP APNEA

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
  2. Central Sleep Apnea
  3. Mixed Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. The airway collapses (or partially collapses) during sleep, blocking (or limiting) the flow of air to the lungs. The person tries to continue to breathe, but the harder they try, the tighter the airway closes. Eventually the brain “wakes” the person to a lighter level of sleep and the person will reposition their jaw and tongue to open the airway (usually with a gasp or a snort). The sleeper will then usually start the whole process over again. This can happen hundreds of times per night for seconds to minutes at a time!

Although the levels of severity of sleep apnea vary among individuals, it usually greatly affects the quality of life of the sufferer as well as their bed partner. If left untreated, sleep apnea may lead to heart disease, stroke, and premature death.

IS SNORING KEEPING YOU UP AT NIGHT?

Visit our Raleigh-Durham area Dental Sleep Clinic to help tackle your (or your partner’s) sleep apnea and snoring once and for all! Our oral appliances are covered by insurance and our Dental Sleep Medicine department actually accepts and files your insurance for you!

purple stop snoring logo with yellow z's and white lane and associates logo

DENTAL SLEEP MEDICINE IN RALEIGH NC

The Lane & Associates Dental Sleep Medicine Department in the Raleigh-Durham area is a dental clinic dedicated to helping you with sleep apnea, snoring, and TMJ pain. It’s time to smile again as you finally get a good night’s rest! Call our offices today and schedule your sleep apnea appliance consultation! Visit our Dental Sleep Medicine page to learn more.