Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common condition that affects a person’s ability to achieve restful sleep. Snoring is the most common symptom, but it can eventually lead to an increased risk of serious health issues. Fortunately, Dr. Timothy Kelly is able to offer effective sleep apnea treatment. He can evaluate the soft tissues of your mouth and throat to determine if you would benefit from something called oral appliance therapy. The appliance gently pulls your jaw forward, which creates space in the throat for air to flow freely. This device is widely considered one of the most comfortable ways to help sleep apnea sufferers breathe properly during sleep.
This sleeping disorder occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the mouth and throat collapse and obstruct the natural flow of air, resulting in intermittent pauses in breathing. These pauses can last for as long as a minute and can happen more than 100 times per night. Patients usually do not know they are struggling to breathe even if they are briefly awakened. It is usually recognized by a sleeping partner or family member disturbed by gasping or choking sounds or intense snoring during sleep.
It most commonly affects men, but women can also experience OSA. Approximately one in four experience OSA at some point in their lives, while 40% of adults over age 40 snore on a regular basis. If left untreated, OSA can increase your risk of general health complications such as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, headaches, migraines, and poor memory.
Dr. Kelly can use advanced imaging technology to assess your airway and other structures to determine if you are suffering from OSA. Once your diagnosis has been made, he will design a custom mandibular advancement device, which is basically a comfortable mouthguard that moves the lower mandible (jaw) forward. This maintains space in the airway, resulting in improved breathing, deep sleep, and a decrease in daytime sleepiness. The mouthpiece is manufactured according to precise impressions of your bite to ensure that it feels completely comfortable to wear during sleep.
For more serious cases of OSA, Dr. Kelly can refer you to sleep disorder specialists who can implement CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy. CPAP therapy generates airflow through a mask that you wear over your mouth and nose. It allows patients to breathe properly and consistently throughout the night.
Dr. Kelly can conduct a detailed analysis of your symptoms to determine the best solution for your sleeping problems. Most patients are unaware of their condition and therefore may have become accustomed to lower levels of energy, fatigue, and irritability. Oral appliance therapy is a simple solution that can result in significantly improved sleep, memory, and mood. Contact us online or call (505) 256-1770 today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kelly.