Q.What are the different types of Sleep Apnoea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea – Is the most common sleep related breathing disorder, where the upper airway repeatedly collapses during sleep. During an obstructive breathing event, someone with OSA continues to breathe but cannot get enough air into the lungs because the upper airway becomes too narrow or closes completely. The soft tissue in the back of your throat or tongue base collapses and then obstructs your airway resulting decreased oxygen intake. The brain detects the oxygen deficiency which then leads to multiple momentary arousals to draw breath – profoundly interrupting your deep sleep.
Central Sleep Apnoea – Is another condition where your airway does not become blocked, but instead your brain does not send the signal to your muscles to breathe. In this type we may need to refer you to a specialist.
Mixed Apnoea – Is a combination of both central and obstructive Sleep Apnoea. If you have mixed Sleep Apnoea you may experience snoring, but you may find that treatments designed to help airway obstructions will not fully stop apnoeic episodes. Though your brain briefly arouses you in order for you to resume breathing, your sleep is constantly interrupted. This leaves you feeling fatigued the next day.
Q. What are the signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnoea?
Tiredness/fatigue and irritability in the mornings and during the day
Frequently waking throughout the night to go to toilet or get a drink
Regular Morning Headaches
Worn teeth caused by clenching or grinding of teeth
Dark circles or bags under or around the eyes
Regular Morning Headaches
Q. How do you get diagnosed?
Because sleep Apnoea occurs at night while you should be sleeping deeply, diagnosis isn’t as easy as a quick visit to your local GP or dentist.
There is a couple of options where to have a sleep study. The gold standard is the in-lab hospital sleep study where your sleep will need to be monitored by a trained professional who will also use a series of highly specialised instruments to monitor your body through a night’s sleep. But for those patients who struggle to sleep in strange surroundings, there is a range of in home sleep study options.
Q. Why is it so harmful?
Repetitive airway collapse can lead to large pressure fluctuations in the lungs and oxygen deficiency which places stress on the heart and cardiovascular system. Consequently in people with OSA, the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and sudden cardiovascular death during sleep is increased as is diabetes.
Associated risk factors for very serious medical conditions include:
Heart Disease (33% increase in cardiovascular disease)
High Blood Pressure
Memory Impairment / loss
Poor Motor Skills
Q. Why should I have a Sleep Study?
It is imperative that you have a sleep study prior to being fitted with any sort of treatment for sleep disordered breathing. Even if you think you just snore, it is possible that you have some level OSA and may need to see a specialist.
Q. Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment Solutions
There are many non-surgical alternatives to traditional snoring and sleep apnoea therapies, more commonly Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) or Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (C-PAP)
Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS)
This s recommended for those who suffer with mild to moderate sleep apnoea. This device is worn while you sleep and works to open your airway by bringing the lower jaw, tongue and associated soft tissue forward stopping it from collapsing during sleep. This appliance maintains the patency of your airway and thus greatly reduces or eliminates the snoring and apnoeic events.
When considering this form of snoring/sleep apnoea treatment it is very important to get a consultation and be fitted in an accredited dental clinic with advanced training in sleep apnoea, and to return for regular visits to prevent any dental problems from occur. The appliances may also need periodical adjustment to help secure a better fit and ensure optimal efficiency.
Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (C-PAP)
For patients with severe obstructive sleep apnoea the most common treatment is Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP). This is a device that involves a mask, tubes and a fan. The devise uses air pressure to maintain a patent airway whereby the continuous motion enables air to pass unobstructed through your airway, resulting in diminished obstructions of the airway throughout your sleep. Due to patients having to wear a mask and the continuous air pressure throughout the night many patients cannot tolerate CPAP.
For the most effective treatment, your CPAP device must be used whenever you sleep, even for short naps. This is a non-invasive form of therapy is a safe and very effective treatment. New CPAP devices are lighter, quieter, and more enjoyable to use, so if you’ve previously tried a machine in the past but gave up on treatment due to discomfort, call us to see what advancements have been made
Note: The aim of this general information is to educate the reader about Sleep Apnoea and may not essentially contain all aspects of the treatment. It would be beneficial to see us for a consultation to discuss the procedure and all of the associated complications.
Give us a call on (03) 5821 2388 to book an appointment and our dentist will be more than happy to answer all of your concerns.