Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common of the 3 types of sleep apnea. It is characterized by recurrent episodes of stopping and starting breathing due to a partial or complete obstruction in the airway during sleep.  The muscles of the tongue and the throat relax and fall back into the airway.  This causes a temporary block in the airway which makes it hard to breathe and when the  body doesn’t receive enough oxygen, the brain tells your body to breathe, which may cause you to gasp, snort, or choke. Several episodes of this during the night reduces your ability to get a good night's rest and can lead to serious health issues.   Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that can lead to stroke, heart issues, high blood pressure and other complications.  The constant disruptions can exhibit the following symptoms:

For Children

  • Snoring

  • Sleeping with head tilted back

  • Long breathing pauses

  • Mouth breathing

  • Clenching or grinding teeth

  • Behavioral issues

  • Restless sleep

  • ADHD diagnosis

  • Prolonged bedwetting

  • Sleep walking

  • Night sweats/night terrors

For Adults

  • Excessive Loud Snoring

  • Mouth breathing

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

  • Clenching or grinding teeth

  • Difficulty staying asleep

  • Dry mouth/throat

  • Irritability/mood swings

  • Gasping, choking, snorting

  • Difficulty concentrating

Risk Factors

Sleep Apnea is a common condition. Several factors can increase your chances of having or developing sleep apnea.

  • Excessive Weight

  • Older Age

  • Narrowed Airway

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Diabetes

  • Family History

  • Allergies or Asthma

How can Myofunctional Therapy help with Sleep apnea?

Myofunctional therapy is designed to retrain and strengthen the muscles of the tongue, face and throat.  It also restores the proper resting position on the tongue against the palate which keeps the tongue out of the airway.  Because the tongue is resting properly in the palate, the forces from the tongue against the palate properly expands the palate during growth and creates a wider nasal floor which increases the airway.  Studies have shown that myofunctional therapy can reduce sleep apnea in children by 62% and by 50% in adults.  

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