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Sleep Apnea


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition where the tissues of the throat and tongue completely block the airway, causing brief periods of suffocation which can dangerously reduce the body’s oxygen levels. The brain then alerts the muscles of the airway to open the blocked airway which disrupts sleep quality, making patients wake up tired. The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Intermittent breathing stoppages during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Restless sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor memory
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Impotence

OSA affects more than 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, excessive daytime sleepiness, and other destructive health problems. It has also been linked to diabetes, insulin resistance, and obesity. Patients who suffer from OSA may be in danger when operating a vehicle or other heavy equipment as OSA causes serious concentration problems that can lead to “drowsy driving.”

If you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, Dr. Allman may ask that you see a Board-Certified Sleep Specialist, usually an ENT or pulmonologist, for a diagnosis prior to evaluating you for a sleep apnea oral appliance. Remember, if you already have been diagnosed with mild or moderate sleep apnea, a dental sleep apnea appliance is your first line of therapy.