Sleep Apnea – Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway completely collapses blocking airflow into the lungs. The harder one tries to breathe, the tighter the airway seals. This airway obstruction persists until the brain partially awakens the person. Unconsciously, he/she will close the jaw returning the tongue and throat to a normal position.
The Sleep Apnea Cycle – falling asleep, jaw relaxing, airway collapsing, unconsciously awakening with a gasp, falling back asleep
– can repeat itself 50 or more times per hour during the night. With a blocked air passage, one does not receive enough oxygen. Both the awakenings and oxygen deprivation can then trigger other health problems.
SLEEP APNEA CAN CAUSE: Chronic Sleepiness, Strokes, Heart Attack, Heartburn, Morning Headaches, Depression, High Blood Pressure
Snoring Defined – When the jaw opens and the tongue falls into the back of the throat, the airway narrows forcing air through the small opening. This creates vibrations in the throat known as snoring. Although snoring seems physically harmless, it can be a “red flag” for a much more serious and sometimes fatal condition called obstructive sleep apnea.
Treatment – After discussing your needs Dr. Bush may recommend the TAP appliance to be worn while sleeping. The Thornton Adjustable Positioner® (TAP) is based on the same principle as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR. The airway must be opened to allow air to pass through the throat. A constricted or collapsed airway causes snoring or sleep apnea.
The TAP holds the lower jaw in a forward position so that it does not fall open during the night and cause the airway to collapse. The TAP maintains a clear airway to reduce snoring and improve breathing.
For more information on the TAP appliance visit www.amisleep.com.