Do you or your partner snore at night? Do you find yourself waking up frequently, or stopping or restarting breathing during sleep? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be suffering from a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea.
There are three main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea. While there are many causes for each type, obstructive sleep apnea is the most common and often the easiest to treat.
Obstructive sleep apnea frequently occurs when the patient is obese or overweight. It can also be genetic, and recent studies have linked it to having a fatty tongue – in other words, a tongue with more body fat in it. Sleep apnea can cause other comorbid conditions such as depression and fatigue, but it has also been found to contribute to everything from diabetes to stroke to heart conditions and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Sleep apnea alone is dangerous and reason enough to get treatment, but because of the secondary conditions it may cause or contribute to, it is all the more important to correct.
There are several options for treating obstructive sleep apnea. One is the traditional continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. This involves a machine that forces air into the airway, propping it open as you sleep. To use CPAP therapy, you must wear a face mask while you sleep. Unfortunately, many people find this mask uncomfortable and do not end up wearing it, rendering CPAP therapy essentially useless. Another caveat to CPAP therapy is that the machine must be adjusted and cleaned regularly, which can be difficult.
Another option that many people prefer is a sleep orthotic. Dr. Mazhari prefers the comfortable, custom Prosomnus MicrO2 sleep orthotic. The Prosomnus MicrO2 is designed to be more comfortable than CPAP, and therefore more likely to be used. It does this by positioning the mandibles to individual specifications to create optimal comfort for the wearer. The 90-degree angle of the device prevents the wearer’s lower jaw from shifting during sleep, and the orthotic itself is made of a thin, strong material so it’s durable and comfortable. It can even minimize the risk of developing serious jaw conditions like temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
It’s also easier to clean than other devices, because it’s similar to a clear aligner retainer, and doesn’t have complicated tubing that can develop mold and accumulate bacteria.
If you are interested in learning more about the Prosomnus MicrO2, please contact Dr. Mojgan Mazhari’s office at 703-212-9622 .