80% of loud snorers who have sleep apnea don’t know they have it

Obstructive sleep apnoea, often referred to as OSA, is characterised by loud snoring that occurs before a person stops breathing and is a condition that causes the throats of sufferers to close up while they sleep, meaning their brain has to continually wake them up from a deep sleep in order to reopen the throat muscles.

BBC Image

Watch this BBC NEWS film that describes Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

The breathing pause can last a few seconds or several minutes and may happen many times during the night. It has been linked to daytime sleepiness and a host of other diseases.

Risk factors for sleep apnoea include obesity, being over the age of 55, and smoking. Tests have proven that sleep apnoea can be hereditary, and men outnumber women among those who are afflicted with the disease. Consequently, stopping smoking or taking dietary precautions prompting weight loss can reduce or even eliminate the effects of many sleep disorders. However, no age group is immune to a sleep disorder.

The overall number of people with OSA is known to be increasing due to major lifestyle problems such as more people now being overweight. Actual numbers are difficult to record as most cases go undiagnosed, but the increased number of nationwide Sleep Disorder Centres in the USA gives us a good idea of the growth of OSA. They have risen in total from 2.280 in 2010 to just over 2,850 in 2016. Their estimated revenue shows OSA is costing $7 billion per year, estimated to rise to $10 billion by 2020.

 

Similar figures exist for other countries but the economic impact of sleep apnoea extends beyond the economic revenue for those who are treated the disease. The annual economic burden of undiagnosed sleep apnoea in the USA is about $149.6 billion, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This includes nearly $87 billion in lost productivity, $26 billion in car crashes and $6.5 billion in workplace accidents.

Untreated sleep apnoea leads to a host of other serious health problems including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and depression. As a result, undiagnosed sleep leads to $30 billion a year in increased health care costs. The AASM estimates if everyone who suffers from sleep apnoea received treatment, it would create a savings of just over $100 billion.

Chronic sufferers are advised to use CPAP machines every night when they sleep and this involves wearing a mask that fits over their nose, or their nose and also their mouth. The device increases air pressure in a patient’s throat, prevents the airway from collapsing, and eliminates obstructed breathing.

However a high number of patients struggle to adjust to CPAP machines and use other approved medical solutions and treatments such as an oral appliance that shifts the lower jaw forward opening airways during sleep. This Mandibular Adjustment Device (MAD) will successfully address the problem of obstruction of the airway and restore normal sleep.

As said earlier, men have a higher risk of sleep apnoea, but recent studies are finding that women who have experienced menopause have the same risk as men. Weight and genetics also have an impact.

Some patients seek treatment after a partner complains about their loud snoring, or gaps in their breathing, but for those who live alone it might be tougher to diagnose.

Snoring is a common phenomenon, but some snorers may require medical treatment so they should look for the following key indicators that may indicate that they have sleep apnoea. These include daytime fatigue, lapses into sleep during the day, and impairment of normal activity.

If snoring results in them having headaches in the morning, suffer from bouts of irritability, or have any of the other symptoms, or if it disturbs their partner, then they should seek to prevent this by using an oral appliance (MAD) which does not need a Doctor’s prescription, and do so immediately, and in severe cases they should seek out immediate medical advice.

John Redfern


Oral Appliances to Treat Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

There are always lots of questions asked of us by those who are considering using an oral appliance for the first time and therefore we’ve tried to answer as many as possible of those basic questions in this short article.

Young girl can't sleep because of her man's snoring

 

What exactly is an oral appliance?

Oral appliances are one of the key options that you can use to treat mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea, as well as snoring. They are sometimes alternatively called Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS), Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD), or Mandibular Repositioning Appliances (MRA). They look a bit like a mouth guard that you might wear if you were playing a contact sport and they are worn at night while sleeping.

Do I simply snore or could it be sleep apnoea?

Snoring is very common and happens when your throat vibrates during sleep due to it having narrowed or even closed, which can happen for a number of different reasons. It is usually held open by a couple of small muscles and these may have relaxed causing it to narrow. When you breathe in it will therefore vibrate and make the sound we all know so well.

It’s very common for people to snore and can happen for both sexes and all age groups, but the age group at most risk are those of middle age and upwards. Men are a little more prone to snore than women at over 40% of their total but the number of women almost matches that figure nowadays.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition when the airway at the back of the throat is repeatedly blocked, partly or completely, during sleep. Although you may not realise, this stoppage in your breathing causes you to wake briefly and restart breathing once more. Your partner will observe this happening but not yourself and it can occur many times each hour. Snoring, obesity, and sleepiness in the daytime may suggest that a person has sleep apnoea and treatment for this is vital. If you need more advice you should contact your GP or local NHS Sleep Centre who will advise you.

How do oral appliances work?

The simplest way to describe it is that they push your lower jaw forwards. Your airway will open up more and there will be less of a risk that it will vibrate or be obstructed and cause you to snore.

As with all treatments, some people respond better than others but generally most people find them to be a satisfactory way to stop snoring. In the case of OSA, the oral appliance will work best if you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, if your sleep apnoea is a lot better when you lie on your side than when you lie on your back and if you are not overweight. If you have central sleep apnoea, which is much less common than obstructive sleep apnoea, then oral appliances will probably not help.

Severe or chronic cases of OSA will require treatment by CPAP which will stop sleep apnoea straight away in almost all people who use it but sometimes people find it difficult to wear the regulatory breathing mask which is attached to an oxygen pump and often stop their treatment. Rather than do nothing they are advised to use an oral appliance that will usually improve their sleep apnoea, but it may not completely stop it.

Are there any side effects?

The two main types are generally trouble free but any small problems can usually be quickly overcome. Type A can be used straight from the box and after immersion in hot water will shape to fit your dental profile. It can be re-modified as required over time until the fit is one that you find easiest and most comfortable to wear.

Type B is custom-fitted to your dental profile from a mold that you take and send back to the Dental laboratory that supplied it.

If the mouthpiece fits correctly correctly, it should be comfortable most of the time but because it pushes your jaw forward, some people may feel some discomfort initially, although it tends to get better with prolonged use. Mostly, any discomfort is in the joint at the back of your jaw, just in front of the ear. This should soon go away when you take the appliance out in the morning. Other people find that it causes saliva to build up in the mouth, or makes the teeth feel tender but these symptoms settle quickly with continuing use.

A 98% success rate and a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee on all our SleepPro Starter Appliances hopefully speaks for itself.

John Redfern


Poor Sleep is blamed for a wide range of health, work and social problems

Sleep is important for biological recovery and takes around a third of our time each and every day. Low quality sleep, particularly that interrupted by snoring and other sleep disorders, may be depriving people of as much as two years worth of sleep over their lifetime.
Woman lying in bed sleepless

Sleep experts agree that chronic poor sleep in general, and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in particular for anyone, but especially for older adults, can even be fatal.

A large-scale study (1) of over 160,000 people found that there was a clear association between sleep problems and the debilitating effects of a heart attack or stroke. A bad night’s sleep raises the risk of potentially fatal heart attacks and strokes and experts warn women are at higher risk because they are more prone to insomnia.

Difficulty getting off to sleep, staying asleep, and waking up not feeling refreshed increased the risks by 27 per cent, 11 per cent, and 18 per cent respectively. Women are at a slightly higher risk than men as they are more prone to insomnia because of differences in genetics, sex hormones and their reaction to stress.

Insomnia is a common problem regularly afflicting around one in every four adults. Sleep is therefore vital to all of us as restorative time and plays a significant role in healing and repairing the heart and blood vessels. It also gives the immune system and the cardiovascular system a rest and allows other organs to be restored.

The study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology (1) and looked at the connection between insomnia symptoms and incidents or death from cardiovascular disease, including those from acute myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease and heart failure, or stroke, or a combination of issues.

However other factors such as smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure contribute significantly more to the overall risk of a heart attack or stroke than sleep problems do.

A spokesperson from The Sleep Council said: “This shows people must prioritise sleep as it’s as important as exercise and diet. People should have a sleep routine with regular bed-time and waking times and make sure they get as much fresh air and natural daylight as possible.”

Professor Valery Gafarov, of the World Health Organisation, said: “Sleep is not a trivial issue.”

Separate research has found that a sleep disorder might be as bad for triggering a heart attack or stroke as smoking or failing to exercise and that people who get less than seven hours are up to four times more likely to suffer a stroke and double their risk of a heart attack.

These research studies were extensively covered on BBC News (2) as well as the ITV show ‘This Morning’ and in both the Daily Express and other international newspapers including The Huffington Post.

The BBC found further research and stressed in its coverage that sleep loss had a serious effect on the school or working day, and that erratic and disruptive behaviour can be caused by even a single night’s loss of sleep. Lack of sleep does not only mean tired workers, says the study, but can also cause “unwanted” activity, which it links to lower levels of self-control.

In addition to this, tiredness brings personal danger to the individual, and to many others, when associated with either driving or handling machinery.

The study, published by the Rotterdam School of Management (2) says that such sleep-related disruption can cost billions in lost productivity.

Millions of people worldwide, including an estimated 80 million in the USA, suffer from some form of sleep problem, and nearly 60 per cent of them have a chronic sleep disorder that can harmfully affect their overall health and well-being. Two of the most common sleep disorders are insomnia and sleep apnoea and if you suffer from either then you should seek professional help and guidance.

John Redfern

Sources:    (1)    European Society of Cardiology Research Report
                           (2)  BBC News


Chin Strap or Mouthpiece? Which might be best for you to stop snoring?

Chin support straps for snorers have consistently proven themselves to be an effective answer to open-mouth snoring, and according to statistics this group of snorers accounts for a massive 80% of the snoring population.

Stop snoring with a SleepPro chinstrap

As one of the industry’s most cost-effective and widely used anti-snoring devices on the market today, anti-snoring chin support straps are really easy to fit, wear and maintain, and for those who are looking for an introduction to anti-snoring products there’s simply nothing as easy as ordering, unwrapping, and wearing a chin support strap. It comes as one size fits all, and it can be used straight from the pack.

Of all the anti-snoring devices available, chin straps are one of the easiest to use. The simplest form of an anti-snoring chin strap consists of a cup made of fabric to provide support to the chin, and straps that go up the sides of the face and around the top of the head.

An open mouthed snorer could use either an oral appliance or a chin strap. The chin strap is designed to keep the mouth closed, but at the same time hold the jaw forward in exactly the same way, and prevents the tongue from slipping to the back of the throat.

It does exactly the same as a stop snoring mouthpiece does – a function that earns the latter the official name of MAD, or mandibular adjustment device. However many mouthpieces are either custom fitted or adjustable so that the advancement of the individual’s jaw can be precise, and as a result is both more effective and comfortable.

Although highly successful in the prevention of snoring, it is not however recommended that it is used on its own for the treatment of sleep apnoea, but it is sometimes recommended that it be used in conjunction with CPAP.

On the other hand it has other benefits. Unlike most other anti-snoring devices a chin support strap can be used if you wear dentures, braces, have gum disease or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.

What is more – and perhaps of interest for more experienced snorers– they can also assist closed mouthed snorers, who suffer from nasal blockage and or mild sleep apnoea, because, when used in combination with a mouthpiece they can help to reinforce the tongue and muscle stability needed for peaceful sleep provided by your oral appliance.

If your nose is blocked due to an allergic condition or because of an infection such as sinusitis, you unconsciously breathe in through the mouth to compensate for the inability to breathe in through the nose. This is the body’s way of ensuring there is enough oxygen entering your lungs.

As you can see, it offers a simple way to stop someone snoring, but also has other distinct advantages that are useful as well as unique, whether used alone or as part of a combination. It is inexpensive as a starter for the prevention of snoring, but for those who have more experience of snore prevention it should ideally be purchased as a combination as this brings even greater value in the savings offered.

Chin Support Straps are sometimes offered in different sizes, but by far the best way is to purchase a version that offers adjustable fitting by way of the Velcro connections at the back of the head where it fastens together. At different times it may need to be fastened less tight – particularly due to hair or beard growth.

As well as being simple to fit, straight from the pack, there is nothing further that you have to do before you use it. Chin straps are easily washable, and are incredibly useful for when you travel away from, either on holiday or for business, taking up very little space and needing hardly any looking after or cleaning after use. At the low prices offered many people find it useful to keep a spare.

Using a chin support strap can also avoid the problem of having a dry mouth – something that affects some users of oral appliances.

The chin support strap is easily affordable by everyone; it’s long lasting, and after a few nights of using it most snorers report that they do not even notice wearing it. This device offers an instantaneous, non-invasive remedy for snorers, and with its fully adjustable function, it can be worn safely by anyone.

John Redfern