Sleep Apnea & Snoring in Austin
Comfortable, effective relief from Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder that is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. The pauses last for several seconds and can occur many times during the period of sleep. Symptoms include being extremely sleepy during the day, snoring loudly, a morning headache and dry mouth.
The traditional treatment of sleep apnea has been through the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine while sleeping. The CPAP machine provides a constant flow of air into nose or nose and mouth via a mask worn over the nose.
While effective, 50% of patients find they can’t tolerate CPAP treatment. An alternative to the CPAP machine is the use of an oral appliance, as recommended by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Drs. John and Lori Babineau are well trained in providing treatment for sleep apnea and use either SomnoMed® or TAP® oral appliances to help patients suffering from this disorder. Oral appliances have been proven to be effective in treating mild to moderate sleep apnea, and many patients find this option to be more comfortable.
What is Sleep Apnea?
The most common type of sleep apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), occurs when your throat muscles relax and allow your tongue to fall back and block your airway. This event causes a reduction in the amount of oxygen that is delivered to your organs, including the heart and brain.
The pauses are often unnoticed by the sleeping person, although they generally snore loudly and are not refreshed by their sleep. Pauses in breathing may happen hundreds of times while asleep.
Who is at risk for Sleep Apnea?
Most people who suffer from sleep apnea are male, overweight and middle age or older. This is not exclusively true as women and people of average weight may be affected as well.
Other risk factors include a family history of sleep apnea, the use of alcohol or sedatives (which also relax the throat), and smoking. Smokers are three times more likely to develop sleep apnea due to inflammation and fluid retention in the throat caused by inhaling tobacco.
Have you already been tested for Sleep Apnea?
If you have been tested and shown to have a sleep apnea disorder, our doctors can help you determine if an oral appliance is an appropriate solution for you.
Would you like to be tested for Sleep Apnea?
Should you be concerned that you may have sleep apnea, our doctors can arrange for a sleep study to determine if you are afflicted with this disorder.
Online Sleep Apnea Tests
Take these simple tests to determine if you have symptoms of sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Typical symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Impaired concentration
- Morning headaches
- Memory loss
- Decreased sex drive
Severe health problems linked to sleep apnea
Oxygen deprivation occurs when breathing pauses repeatedly during sleep that can cause other health issues such as those listed below.
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Weight gain
Lack of refreshing sleep can cause drowsiness during the day, and nearly one in five automobile accidents involving serious injury have been attributed to a driver being sleepy while behind the wheel.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Our doctors often use oral appliance therapy to help patients suffering from the effects of a sleep apnea disorder. We have found both TAP (Thornton Adjustable Positioner) and SomnoMed products to be effective.
TAP oral appliance
The TAP is a custom-fitted oral appliance that sits between the front teeth to keep the jaw in a forward position so that it doesn’t fall open. When the jaw falls open, the tongue can fall back and obstruct the airway. A single point of adjustment allows patients to manage the degree to which their lower jaw protrudes while wearing the device. We work with our patients using TAP oral appliances to find the appropriate adjustment and fine-tune their treatment.
Although it is a very simple, comfortable procedure, the TAP has been proven to be highly successful for treating patients with sleep apnea. There’s no need for a mask with straps, medication or surgery! The appliance is compact, lightweight and a convenient option for patients who travel.
SomnoMed oral appliances are also custom made for each individual patient. The appliances are comfortable, and the minimal adjustments we need to make mean less time in the chair for our patients. Patients can also open their mouths to talk while wearing this oral appliance.
Constructed from a proprietary material, SomnoMed oral appliances do not attract odors or delaminate into thin layers. In fifteen independent studies, patients have reported a significant improvement in sleep quality.
Do you snore?
Many factors may contribute to snoring, such as alcohol consumption, allergies, a cold or being overweight. Snoring occurs when the muscles in the roof of your mouth, throat and tongue relax to a point that allows for partial obstruction of your airway.
Most of time snoring does not aversely affect your overall health. However, about five to ten percent of people who snore (usually quite loudly) have sleep apnea. Our online tests make it easy to determine if you may be at risk.
Snoring can be easily treated with an oral appliance that keeps airways unobstructed during sleep. Come in for a visit and see if this therapy is right for you.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea causes the muscles in your throat relax and your tongue falls back and blocks the airway.
Most people are suffering from the most common form of Sleep Apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. Sleep Apnea is a potentially life-threatening medical disorder that causes your body to stop breathing during sleep. In OSA, the muscles in your throat relax and your tongue falls back and blocks the airway, reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to your organs, including your heart and brain.
People with sleep apnea usually snore loudly. They stop breathing for short periods of time, 10 seconds or more each pause. The breathing pauses during sleep cause your body to briefly wake up while you remain unaware. This can happen hundreds of times in a night, causing you to wake up feeling less than refreshed and to feel tired during the day.
To make an appointment, call 512.306.8900 or click here to request an appointment online.