What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea affects hundreds of people in the Weston area. Dr. Stephen J. Pyle, Weston’s "first dentist," has expanded the services his dental practice offers to include customized, effective sleep apnea therapies for his patients. Sleep apnea is a common but mostly undiagnosed sleep disorder that can be life threatening if left untreated. Dr. Pyle has the training, experience and certification to provide the most overall successful therapy in treating sleep apnea and has helped many patients regain their ability to get a restful full night’s sleep and their normal level of daytime energy.

What Is Sleep Apnea and Why is it So Dangerous if Allowed to go Unchecked?

You are probably familiar with the old Chinese torture of "death by a thousand cuts." Sleep apnea could be called "asphyxiation by a thousand shortened breaths." Basically sleep apnea involves the partial blockage of the airway at night causing a reduction in the supply of oxygen to the blood stream. The cumulative effect of this reduced oxygen can lead to heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and a host of other diseases.

The blockage of the airway is caused by the tongue and the soft tissue at the back of the throat. When a person goes to sleep the combination of the pull of gravity and a relaxed state will cause the tongue and tissue to collapse in on the airway disrupting the normal breathing pattern and choking off oxygen. These disruptions can occur several times per hour.

The brain will react to the loss of oxygen by partially waking up to restore normal breathing. This is often accompanied by heavy, loud snoring as the body tries to clear the blockage.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, frequent nighttime visits to the bathroom, morning headaches, waking up unrested, difficulty concentrating and problems with memory. It is more prevalent in men however as people age gender becomes less important. People who sleep on their backs, have large necks or who are overweight also have a higher incidence of sleep apnea.

If you are concerned that you may have this disorder call our office today for a sleep apnea scan examination. Dr. Pyle at our Weston dental office facilitates sleep testing as well as partner with a patient’s current physician to help determine the most appropriate therapy for the individual.