Sleep Apnea

I have heard About Sleep Apnea, what is it?

Sleep apnea affects about 18 million people of all ages in the U.S. There are three forms: obstructive, central and mixed.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form, occurs when the soft tissue at the back of the throat closes, blocking (obstructing) the person’s airway.
  • The airway remains open in central sleep apnea, but the breathing muscles do not get signals from the brain.
  • Mixed sleep apnea combines aspects of the obstructive and central types.

Most commonly the warning sign of sleep apnea is snoring, especially if it includes gasping or lack of breathing, although they may not be related. People who have sleep apnea stop breathing while sleeping and it can occur hundreds of times up to a minute or more.

Sleep apnea sufferers can awake startled from their sleep then resume regular breathing. This disrupts and reduces the quality of a person’s rest. Sleep apnea can have several health issues; high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, headaches, and daytime fatigue. These can lead to job impairment and the potential for vehicle accidents.

How Do We Treat and Diagnose Sleep Apnea?

Dr. Brian Raskin is well-versed in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. He custom-fits special devices called TAP appliances to treat his patients' sleep apnea. Short for Thornton Adjustable Positioners, TAP appliances consist of two plastic pieces that fit over the upper and lower teeth and hold the lower jaw forward during sleep to help keep the airway open. Dr. Raskin also works closely with a sleep doctor to diagnose each patient's problem.

There are a variety of treatments available for sleep apnea. If you think you are suffering from sleep apnea, talk with Dr. Raskin. He will discuss which treatment is right for you.