Dr. Steven Olmos of the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of San Diego details the significance of Sleep Apnea Awareness Day. “Apnea is suffocation because the word apnea means to stop breathing and this happens because of an obstruction in the nose or throat,” says Dr. Olmos. “People with this condition might feel more tired or depressed and erectile dysfunction or cardiovascular problems could result. About 10% of the population has sleep apnea but most people with sleep apnea do not think they have a problem.”
The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) echoes Dr. Olmos statements about concern over sleep apnea. The ASAA stated on their website, “Obstructive sleep apnea – mild, moderate and severe, not only affects adults, but it affects children as well. Children of all ages can develop sleep apnea as a result of chronic swollen tonsils and adenoids, high deposits of fatty tissues crowding the opening of the upper airway due to obesity and/or just a narrow opening of the upper airway.”
Dr. Olmos and his team want to find why people do not breathe properly or why they have orthopedic problems of the jaw. State of the art equipment is used to evaluate the jaw function. A CT cone beam is used to find where obstructions are and to see if there is arthritis in the jaw. Then the decision is made about whether the patient needs to be sent out to have a sleep study performed.
The TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of San Diego uses oral appliance therapy as part of a comprehensive approach to treatment. They want to find the origins of people’s problems. The goal is to see how little things need to be corrected to get a good result, therefore a minimally invasive approach is taken.
Other professionals believe in a minimally invasive approach to the treatment of sleep apnea as well. April 18th, 1981 is the day Colon Sullivan made a significant advancement in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea when he published the result of his 5 patient study in the British Medical Journal, The Lancet. The name of the article was “Reversal of Obstructive Sleep Apnea by Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Applied Through the Nares.”
The ASAA website says, “The use of CPAP revolutionized the treatment of a condition, providing a non-invasive means to eliminate the severe oxygen destatuations and resulting sleep fragmentation that occurs when someone as has sleep apnea. This treatment improves the quality of life by providing a restful night’s sleep and there is evidence that it has a positive impact on other conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and depression.”
For more information about Dr. Steven Olmos, the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of San Diego, and oral appliance therapy as part of a comprehensive solution, visit his website at: http://tmjtherapycentre.com/sandiego/.