What Is Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea Causes
Sleep Apnea Treatments with Appliances
Sleep Apnea Testimonials
Health Risks of Sleep Apnea
Vivos® DNA Appliance Therapy
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea in Children
Sleep Apnea in Truck/CDL Drivers
What Causes Sleep Apnea
There are three major types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA); Central Sleep Apnea (CSA); and Complex Sleep Apnea. As noted above, OSA is characterized by the excessive relaxation of soft tissues and muscles in oral cavities, ultimately resulting in blocked airways. CSA is not as common as OSA; however, it causes many of the same symptoms and is equally as dangerous.
CSA results when muscles that regulate normal breathing patterns temporarily stop getting signals from the brain. This type of sleep apnea is typically more common among patients who have had a stroke, an infection in the brain, a spine or cervical condition, or other conditions that affect the brain stem. Complex Sleep Apnea is a mixture of both OSA and CSA.
Obesity is known as one of the most common causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. An enlarged tongue, thickened tonsils, and/or an excess amount of fat in the neck can significantly increase pressure on air passages, ultimately forming a blockage while sleeping. Other possible causes of OSA include hereditary factors, exposure to smoke from tobacco, and structural irregularities in orofacial anatomy. With that in mind, it is important to note that the condition can strike anyone, including those who have none of the potential associative factors that can lead to this disorder.
Oral appliances can often be utilized as the primary treatment for sleep apnea, or in combination with other therapies. They do not involve cumbersome tubes or wires, noisy machinery, or bulky equipment that can be difficult to transport. One of the most important aspects of oral appliance therapy is its ability to increase patient compliance with the treatment. In some cases of CPAP therapy, patients have stopped utilizing the device because of inconvenience or discomfort.
Oral appliance therapy eliminates many of the drawbacks associated with CPAP therapy and can help patients experience an uninterrupted pattern of sleep, which can lead to much more significant rates of patient compliance with the treatment protocol and reduce the risks that are posed to patients who stop treatment altogether.
Our practice offers some of the latest types of oral appliances, including Sirona’s OptiSleep, Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) and ProSomnus® sleep devices. ProSomnus® sleep devices contain no metal parts and are custom-designed to keep the air passage open while fitting comfortably inside the mouth.
It is important to note that Fulbright Snoring & Sleep Solutions is one of the very few offices in the Los Angeles region that is approved by Medicare for certain kinds of sleep apnea appliances. Dr. Fulbright makes treatment for this condition a strong focus of our practice and is committed to helping those affected by this disorder to reduce risks to their health.
Sleep Apnea in Truck Drivers / CDL Drivers
Dr. Michael Fulbright has treated numerous patients who need effective treatment for this disorder to pass their mandatory physicals in order to qualify for commercial driver’s licenses. A diagnosis of sleep apnea in truck drivers and other CDL drivers may disqualify them from maintaining their licenses if the condition goes untreated. If you are seeking treatment to help ensure your ability to qualify for a CDL, our practice can explore your options with you and determine a solution that may be ideal for your needs.
Read more about sleep apnea treatment for truck drivers and find out how we can help.
Please visit our comprehensive sleep apnea and snoring treatment website for more information. If you would like to schedule an evaluation with Michael Fulbright DDS please call (310) 316-4477 or contact us online. We are happy to answer your questions about sleep apnea and the many advanced treatments available that can combat the effects of this common condition.