Story posted: Wednesday, 6. February 2008 by Rafael Ben-Ari
A special dental appliance is a new treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Sleep apnea means "cessation of breath." It is characterized by repetitive episodes of upper airway obstruction that occur during sleep, usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation. In other words, the airway becomes obstructed at several possible sites. The upper airway can be obstructed by excess tissue in the airway, large tonsils, and a large tongue and usually includes the airway muscles relaxing and collapsing when asleep. Another site of obstruction can be the nasal passages. Sometimes the structure of the jaw and airway can be a factor in sleep apnea. The risks of undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea include heart attacks, strokes, impotence, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, obstructive sleep apnea causes daytime sleepiness that can result in accidents, lost productivity and interpersonal relationship problems. The severity of the symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe. The new appliance advances the lower jaw a little bit forward and by doing so it shifts the base of the tongue forward. This action enlarges the upper airway diameter, allowing a better flow of air and easy breathing during sleep. The new treatment is a great solution for people with severs sleep apnea who cannot tolerate treatment with CPAP or people who failed surgery. All photos by Rafael Ben-Ari/Chameleons Eye.
All images and content Copyright © Chameleons Eye 2004-2013, All rights reserved.