According to the Sleep Foundation, 18 million American adults have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder which causes them to momentarily stop breathing during sleep. Treatment options to provide relief include surgery, CPAP machines, and dental appliances.
For those searching for an alternative to the CPAP machine, a dental appliance option from Sleep Airway Solutions and Dr. Michael Uzelac may be the answer. Often easier and less intrusive for the user, a dental device can provide relief as well.
“I’m trying to surf that gap between medicine and dentistry,” explained Dr. Uzelac. “Really, the biggest thing that I want to do is educate the public that sleep apnea is very important to fix and that there are alternatives to CPAP if you can’t use or won’t use the machine.”
As sleep apnea becomes more prominent and receives more attention during studies, the effects it has on health have become more apparent. While the disruption occurs during sleep, and it can cause auto accidents due to tiredness and fatigue, the implications of not treating the disease go even further.
“Sleep apnea contributes to cardiovascular problems, heart attack, and stroke because when you stop breathing at night your oxygen goes down and it’s like a rollercoaster,” said Dr. Uzelac. “You’re much more likely to have a stroke or car accident, and it’s expected to cut 6 to 15 years off your life.”
With serious implications, treatment should be simple for those diagnosed. While the CPAP machine is a very popular option, many find it cumbersome when traveling and dislike the device during use. This is where Dr. Uzelac identified some of the strengths of oral devices to aid in sleep apnea.
“You just pop it in your mouth and go to sleep. It’s more comfortable,” said Dr. Uzelac. “You don’t have the issue with machines, masks, leaks, and noise. Oral appliances are easy to travel with. They go into a pouch and you can go.”
The device itself is simple to use and instead of forcing air into the airway, it aligns the jaw to aid in breathing during sleep. Through this repositioning, patients are better able to sleep without disruption.
“In general, we’re trying to get the word out so people can understand what the disease is and take appropriate measures to protect themselves,” said Dr. Uzelac. “There is an alternative to CPAP and an effective one.”
To learn more about Sleep Airway Solutions and their treatment options, call (219) 286-6461 or visit their website here!