Sleep is a beautiful thing, but for the 18 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea a restful sleep is seldom found. If left untreated, the frequent pauses in breath experienced constantly in sleep apnea sufferers can lead to several cardiovascular issues; this includes heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. In an average night, someone with sleep apnea could experience a lapse in breath as frequently as every minute — the sleepless nights can catch up to a person, which is why sleep apnea suffers are six times more likely to lose concentration and die in a car accident. Continuing studies show the seriousness of the condition: findings over an 18-year period found that those with untreated sleep apnea died at a rate that was three times higher than the general population. Thankfully there are several sleep apnea treatments that can help sufferers sleep safely.
The Problem With CPAP
One of the effective treatments for sleep apnea also happens to be reason why many sufferers intentionally put themselves at risk. A CPAP machine uses positive air pressure to maintain an open airway through a face mask. Unfortunately, many have difficulty sleeping when using their CPAP machine: spouses and patients can find the machines noisy; some sufferers have difficulty exhaling against the constant air flow; and others find the mask to be too uncomfortable. For this reason, a majority of those who receive CPAP machines neglect to use them after the first three weeks.
The Benefits of a Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece
An alternative treatment option for sleep apnea could be to simply reposition the mouth using a mouth guard. Mouth guards have been used in the past to help patients who grind their teeth while sleeping; sleep apnea mouth guards are specially suited to stop snoring and help reduce apneas while sleeping. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved over 100 different oral appliances for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea like mandibular repositioning devices (MRD) that can increase upper airway capacity by 50-75%. Sleep apnea is a very real and dangerous condition that claims lives every year: find a treatment option for you so that you and your family can sleep soundly throughout the night.