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Adult Sleep Apnea – Treatment for Sleep Apnea (Oral Appliance Therapy, OAT) – Foley, AL*

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About Adult Sleep Apnea

Adult sleep apnea (ASA) is a diagnosis for patients 18 years of age or older. These patients have a total obstruction in their airway while they sleep. This can mean that air is blocked for a minimum of 10 seconds to be a "sleep apnea event." Some adults may not be breathing as long as 80 – 90 seconds. If you are wondering if your symptoms may be ASA, you can contact Gulf Coast Sleep Specialist in Foley, AL for an examination and evaluation with Dr. Steven Todd.

Here is a simple visual. Take your foot, whatever size, and try to put it in a shoe that is four times too small for you. What happens? It’s only going to go in so far. Where’s the rest of the foot going to go? The rest of the foot is simply going to hang out of the back of the shoe. The same thing happens if you have a big tongue in a small or undersized mouth. Your teeth are in the front and sides of your mouth. The only place for your tongue to go is in the back of the throat.

Let’s look at this at its most basic level. Many articles you may have read regarding sleep apnea state that ASA is about the airway collapsing. It is not necessarily the airway collapsing as much as it is about the airway becoming blocked. When a snoring person rolls over from their back to the side (after being elbowed by their spouse), their tongue shifts its position. It no longer blocks the back of the throat and the dreaded snoring stops. The tongue is a big issue! Why? Snoring is the tongue vibrating on the back of a partially blocked or obstructed airway. If you would like to speak with an experienced dentist (who specializes in sleep disturbances) about your sleep problems, schedule an appointment today. You have options.

Sleep Apnea Screening

The Costs of Sleep Apnea

Health Care Costs

  • Prior to sleep apnea diagnosis, patients utilized 23 – 50% more medical resources
  • Total economic cost of sleepiness is approximately $43 – $56 billion
  • Undiagnosed significant, very significant, and severe sleep apnea in middle-aged adults may cause $3.4 billion in additional medical costs in the United States
  • Undiagnosed sleep apnea estimated costs per family is $10 – $20 thousand per year

Traffic Accidents

  • People with significant, very significant, and severe sleep apnea have an up to a 15-fold increase of being involved in a traffic accident
  • People with sleep apnea are at twice the risk of having a traffic accident
  • Treating all United States drivers suffering from sleep apnea would save $11.1 billion in collision costs and save 980 lives annually

Treatment Options

At Gulf Coast Sleep Specialist in Foley, AL, we concentrate on creating customized oral appliances for our sleep apnea patients. Dr. Steven Todd is proud to provide this simple, comfy, and reliable service to help you achieve better health and wellness. Treatment will start with an overall assessment of your jaw, tongue, airway, and teeth.

Dr. Todd will work with you to make sure you get the right treatment to fit your lifestyle while not sacrificing your health. There are numerous snoring or sleep apnea therapies to choose from after an ASA diagnosis, such as:

  • A tonsillectomy
  • An adenoidectomy
  • A maxillofacial surgery
  • The nightly use of a CPAP machine
  • Breathing therapy
  • Oral appliance therapy

Sometimes patients are not happy with the recommendations of the prescribing doctor or do not tolerate sleeping with CPAP mask at all. This usually means the patient is not compliant with treatment and not relieving their symptoms from inconsistent use. In such instances, these patients might turn to other choices to help address the problem. 

Follow-Up

If you have an oral appliance made for you at Gulf Coast Sleep Specialist, we will have it made at a medical-grade laboratory and have you in for a fitting once it is available. At your fitting appointment, Dr. Todd will adjust your appliance for the appropriate fit and comfort. We will teach you how to clean, store, and maintain your new oral appliance before you leave our office, as well. Your health is very important to us! At follow-up appointments, it is important to bring the appliance with you so that Dr. Todd can make sure it is doing a great job at keeping your jaw and/or tongue in place while you sleep. Even with proper maintenance, it will eventually need to be replaced. 

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You Can Sleep Better!

If you believe you may be experiencing mental and/or physical health issues from sleep apnea, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Gulf Coast Sleep Specialist. We also accept referral patients. Quality sleep is essential to wellness. When your body is also not getting the oxygen it needs, it will have severe consequences on your health. Call today.

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.