Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard

Why Parents Should Be Concerned about Snoring in Children

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Snoring In Children

It is a widely known and accepted fact that snoring is one of the most common sleeping disorders, which affect millions of individuals all over the world. A recent survey conducted by experts in the field of medical science confirmed that approximately 50 percent of all adults snore, at least occasionally. Although the percentage of kids who snore is estimated to be a lot lesser, it is still a serious matter of concern. So, if your child is suffering from snoring, then it is best to get medical assistance as soon as possible.

An experienced pediatric otolaryngologist, Brandon Hopkins, said, “On average, just one in 10 kids snore. But that doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem.” He also stressed on the fact that the major culprit behind snoring in kids is obstructive or excessive tissues in their throat. “In children, large tonsils and adenoids are often a source of bulky tissue in the throat and the snoring,” he said.

Some of the other common causes of snoring in children include:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Deviated septum
  • Asthma
  • Throat infections
  • Allergies

Snoring issues in children usually gets better without medical treatments. However, in some rare cases, snoring in kids might lead to some serious health issues. If that is the case, then you will need to invest in a sleep apnea mouth guard to deal with the problem. Below are a few signs that indicate that the snoring issue in your kid is a bit serious.

  • He/she snores on most nights
  • You are able to frequently hear the sound of your child’s snoring
  • The snoring sound is too noisy
  • The mouth of your kid remains open when he/she is asleep
  • You are able to hear your child gasping for breath when they are asleep

Speaking on snoring in kids, Hopkins said, “It’s not common in kids, but when sleep apnea is severe, it can pose health risks for the heart and lungs.” He also advised parents to “track how many nights of the week the snoring occurs and whether it happens frequently, or only occasionally, during the night.”

If the snoring issues in your kid are due to the presence of large adenoids or tonsils, then the health care provider may recommend surgery. As said, you can also use a sleep apnea mouth guard initially to see if it helps to ease the symptoms of snoring. However, consulting a doctor is always recommended.

How Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affect Respiration?

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Snoring Related Issues

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition where you may stop breathing for a short time while you are sleeping. Usually, these pauses, which are referred to as apnea events or apnea episodes, may last from 10 to 30 seconds. People having this health condition may stop breathing hundreds of times every night, and this may lead to low oxygen levels and sleep disruption.

It is seen that OSA leads usually to restlessness, and if not treated properly, it may reduce cognitive function and cause daytime sleepiness. Apart from this, it also heightens the risks of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Though sleep apnea mouth guard can be used to prevent snoring and limit the OSA symptoms to an extent, severe cases of sleep apnea needs to be treated. Therefore, it would be wiser to consult a doctor if you have the condition.

Apart from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, there are three more kinds of sleep apnea, namely sleep-hypoventilation syndrome, complex or mixed sleep apnea, and central sleep apnea. Regardless of which type of sleep apnea you have, timely intervention is mandatory to deal with the health issue properly. The following are the factors that may lead to higher risk of the condition.

  • Obesity
  • Having thick and large neck
  • Hereditary disease
  • If you are male
  • If you are 40 years or more
  • Presence of large tonsils
  • Recessed chin

In case of children, they may have this syndrome if there are large tonsils and adenoids.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Breathing?

At first, you will be breathing normally and sleeping quietly, and the air can flow easily to the lungs through the breathing tube. A little later, you might start snoring loudly; this means that your air passage is blocked partly. If the block worsens, it can affect the volume of air that enters the lungs, and hence, lead to a significant drop in the oxygen levels. This condition is referred to as hypopnea.

As time passes, your airway gets blocked completely, and when the brain gives the signal to breathe as normal, you couldn’t breathe in the air because of the blocked air passage. After a ten to thirty second pause, the brain realizes that you were not breathing, thus, it will force you to wake up. When you can wake up, you take a deep breath of air, and thereby, start breathing normally. However, the cycle may repeat, and this leads to frequent sleep interruption.

Why Do Apnea Patients with CPAP Intolerance Choose Oral Appliances?

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CPAP Therapy And Sleep Apnea

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is commonly used as a treatment option for people diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The therapy involves using a CPAP machine, which pumps slightly pressurized air into the nasal airways via an elongated hose hooked to a face mask worn, while the person is asleep. This contraption is used to hold open the OSA patient’s upper airway, and prevent breathing difficulties which may last from a few seconds to a full hour.

While CPAP is a tried-and-tested method for treating sleep apnea, many people face hardships in sticking with the therapy. Most medical professionals term the difficulty to comply with it as CPAP intolerance. Often, the noise coming from the bulky CPAP machine, causing disturbance to apnea patients and bedmates, is found to be the main reason for intolerance, which leads to the failure of CPAP therapy. However, there are several other reasons for CPAP intolerance, including:

  • Air leaks in the face mask, which cause a dry mouth in the morning;
  • The person being allergic to the material of the oxygen mask used in CPAP, which often tends to be made up of latex;
  • Uncomfortable headgear and straps; and
  • Limited mobility during sleep, due to the contraption or the CPAP machine, and other connections.

If you feel that you cannot comply with the CPAP, it is advisable to look for alternative treatments for mild to moderate apnea, such as oral appliance therapy. In fact, oral appliance therapy may also serve as a remedy for loud snoring, even if you find it tough to get used to positional therapy. For instance, if you find it tough to change from a supine or prone position to a side-sleeping one on the bed – it’s best to wear an oral appliance used to treat mild to moderate OSA.

Side sleeping is suggested in positional therapy for treating apnea; most people do find comfort in opening the upper airway using a snoring remedy, but not all feel the same way. In fact, an oral appliance such as a sleep apnea mouth guard is considered as a noninvasive treatment for OSA. Such snoring mouthpieces do not cause any side effects, and work as per the same principle – of clearing the obstructions in the upper throat. Once worn, it advances the lower jaw and ensures free flow of air.

What are the Major Sleep Disorders in Infants?

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Sleep Disorders In Infants

The fact that babies will not be able to express their troubles verbally may make it really hard for parents to soothe them, especially for the first-time parents. One of the main things that is seen to trouble new parents a lot is their baby’s sleeping problems.

Although not all sleeping problems are related to medical conditions, there are some “organic causes”, which lead to the same. If so, adequate treatment is crucial, else it can be harmful to your baby as it can eventually lead to other serious infections or health issues. Some of the medical conditions that can disturb the sleep of newborns and toddlers include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Ear infections
  • Fever
  • Snoring or breathing irregularities
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Parasitic infections
  • Milk allergy

As most parents might not be familiar with the symptoms of acid reflux and snoring, below is how these health concerns can cause sleeping problems in infants.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is common in infants and plays a major role in interrupting their sleep cycle. According to a recent study, babies with acid reflux issues are likely to experience frequent arousals. In most cases, GERD will be painful and may cause colic and vomiting in the little one. Additionally, acid reflux is also a risk factor for pulmonary diseases.

GERD can be fatal at times too, and can be classified as a serious disease when it causes the following symptoms in babies.

  • Blood in the vomit or stool
  • Anemia
  • Resistance to feeding
  • Irritability
  • Failure to thrive

If you find any of these symptoms in your baby, avoid acidic food, and also make sure that the baby is in an upright position for at least 20 minutes after feeding. If the symptoms are extreme, it is recommended to consult a pediatrician.

Snoring

According to a recent study, around 15-25% of infants suffer from snoring. This is usually harmless, but in certain cases, it can lead to severe health issues. At times, habitual snoring in babies can be an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea. This will result in frequent arousals, irregular breathing, and restlessness during sleep. In some cases, babies with sleep apnea fail to wake up while facing breathing problems. This can be very dangerous, as it may also eventually lead to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Apart from sleep apnea, snoring in babies, who are around 8 months old, may also affect their proper mental development. So, if you find your baby snoring frequently for more than a week or so, better consult a pediatrician right away.

Studies Indicate a Correlation between Sleep Apnea and Gout

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Sleep Apnea And Gout

Recent studies have found out a correlation between sleep apnea and gout. Researchers said that persons who suffered from sleep apnea had a higher chance of developing gout.

Gout is common and is a type of arthritis that results in pain, swelling, and stiffness in the major joints of the leg such as the toe, ankle, and knee. Sleep apnea affects an estimated of 12 million people in the US alone. This large percentage of people affected with sleep apnea makes them prone to other problems associated with it such as gout.

Long and repeated interruptions during sleep are common for patients suffering from sleep apnea. This can affect many of the critical bodily functions leading to further complications if left untreated.

What is Gout?

Gout refers to painful arthritis where the individual experiences sudden and sharp pain in the leg joints. The affected area can become swollen and further movements will cause more pain making it difficult to walk. All the important joints of the leg such as the big toe, knee, and ankles are prone to gout. This is caused mainly due to the buildup of urate crystals in the affected joint.

The increased concentration of uric acid in the blood is one reason for the development of urate crystals. Excess uric acid can accumulate in the blood when it does not dissolve in blood or the kidneys fails to remove them from the body through urine. This causes the urate crystals to accumulate on the joints of the legs and even the hands causing pain and swelling.

Sleep Apnea and Gout

The studies conducted by researchers have proven that approximately 50 percent of the individuals who suffer from sleep apnea are prone to gout. The researchers have come up with several reasons, the most convincing being the deprivation of oxygen during sleep apnea.

The deprivation of oxygen in the blood during sleep apnea causes damage to the cells and tissues and a buildup of uric acid in the blood. These can cause the uric acid to turn into urate crystals and accumulate in the joints causing pain and swelling. Besides, there are other reasons as well that connect the two conditions; such as the various after-effects of sleep apnea like high blood pressure.

Treatment

Treating gout linked to sleep apnea requires first addressing the problem of the sleep disorder itself. Effective treatment options such as a mouthpiece for sleep apnea enables adequate air intake and maintain proper oxygen levels, which in turn would help in a healthy concentration of uric acid in the blood. This can prevent gout and other painful conditions from developing in the first place. However, note that gout should be treated specifically, so proper diagnosis by a specialist is essential to permanently relieve the problem.

Snoring in Kids Can be a Sign of Serious Sleep Disorders

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Sleep Disorders In Kids

Snoring is one of the most common sleep disorders in children and it affects more than a million kids every year. It is true that most of the kids snore, but that can happen often and more loudly in some children. So if your kid is an frequent snorer, then you should take him to a health care provider and implement necessary precautionary steps to stop your kid’s snoring.

The health care provider will advise your kid to make a few lifestyle changes and to cut down dairy products from his/her diet. If that does not work, then you will need to buy a sleep apnea mouth guard for your child. These comfortable snoring aids are highly effective, comfortable, and they can help your kid to cut down or even stop snoring within a few weeks’ of regular usage.

The Severity of Snoring in Children

Several parents have a misconception that the snoring issues of their child will get resolved on its own with time. The reality is that snoring and other sleep disorders can bring severe health disorders to your kid. Results obtained from recent studies indicate that childhood snoring can be a sign of a serious health disorder.

ENT specialist, Dr. Micahel Latshaw says that, “Kids that don’t get good quality sleep are more likely to exhibit symptoms of hyperactivity. Studies have shown recently that a lot of kids are misdiagnosed with ADHD and ADD when really it comes down to they’re not getting the right sleep that they need.”

As per Dr. Latshaw, if parents are experiencing “difficulty waking them up in the morning, or teachers saying, ‘well, he’s falling asleep’ or, ‘he’s just tough to reign in’, if their grades are falling off, or if there’s symptoms of hyperactivity and just inability to focus,” then there is a good chance that your kid is struggling with snoring or other sleep-related issues.

Dr. Latshaw also added that the surgical removal of tonsils might fix the issue in most kids. However, he also stated that the treatments might vary based on the patient. “Sometimes it can be as simple as a steroid nasal spray to help open up the nose or treatment of allergies in another way,” he said. “In some cases, children outgrow their sleep apnea. As their faces and their bodies grow, the airway opens up, and they stop snoring.”

How Sleep Apnea Triggers Migraine Headaches

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Migraine And Sleep Apnea

The presence of sleep apnea can hamper the normal sleep cycles of an individual. It can lead to a temporary cessation of breathing due to obstructions in the air passages. This can severely affect the entire health of an individual as such pauses during breathing can lead to a lack of oxygen in reaching the crucial areas of the body. The brain is one such major part of the body that requires sufficient amount of oxygen.

Interfering with the normal functioning of the brain especially during sleep can lead to the occurrence of numerous conditions, mostly headaches. However, it is seen that sleep apnea can trigger not only ordinary headaches but migraines as well. In fact, most specialists are attributing sleep apnea as a major cause of migraine. Mostly, they recommend that those suffering from migraines wear some sort of sleep apnea mouth guard to ensure free airways thus alleviating the problem.

Causes

Sleep apnea affects a person in a number of ways, mostly with the areas in the body that requires an adequate supply of oxygen. Sleep apnea and migraines are bound together by the common attribute of stress. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can lead to blockages in the airways thus leading to disturbances in sleep. This results in the individual to wake up several times during the night thus preventing him/her from having a quality sleep.

Disturbances in the normal sleep cycle can result in the individual to develop various disorders. It can considerably affect the normal functioning capacity of the brain, thus leading to lack of productivity, mood swings, and ultimately, stress. This buildup of stress can trigger migraine headaches in individuals.

Effects

Sleep apnea and the subsequent migraine developed from it can cause several harmful effects on the body. If left untreated it can result in brain damage over time and many other diseases such as hypertension, stroke, and depression. In fact, both snoring and sleep apnea can cause brain damage because of decreased oxygen and blood circulation.

The pauses during breathing can hinder the brain from getting adequate oxygen for its functioning this resulting in irreversible damage to the brain. This paves the way for risks of stroke and the development of other conditions like memory loss.

Treatment

One of the best ways to prevent migraines associated with sleep apnea is to ensure that the airways are clear of any obstructions. Numerous snoring solutions like mouth guards can position the jaws in such a way to facilitate easy breathing free of any obstructions thus offering quality sleep.

In some individuals, the nasal airways and cavities have slight deformities, which can only be treated by the right surgical procedures. Treating sleep apnea and migraines associated with it at the earliest will help prevent any complications such as stroke or hypertension.

Common Eye Disorders Linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Over time, numerous studies have brought to light the overwhelming effects of sleep apnea and snoring on the body. Newer studies have proven that there exists a relation between sleep apnea and the recurrence of certain eye disorders among individuals. If left untreated, sleep apnea can become complicated and cause adverse effects on the vision and other crucial systems of the body too, such as the cardiac system and respiratory system.

According to the various studies, it has been revealed that common eye disorders like floppy eyelid syndrome and glaucoma occur more in individuals suffering from sleep apnea. Besides, Obstructive Sleep Apnea has also been known to aggravate many of the eye disorders. Some of the common eye disorders linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea are described below.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one disorder directly linked with sleep apnea. It is a common eye disease and the key reason for vision loss on a majority of individuals. Glaucoma occurs mainly due to the damages in the optic nerves because of increase of pressure inside the eyes. For a person with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the oxygen entering the lungs is less, which can result in a decrease of oxygen reaching the optic nerves. This can result in damages to the optic nerves thus affecting vision.

Papilledema

Yet another eye disorder linked to sleep apnea is papilledema. It is seen mostly in individuals suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Papilledema can result in the optic disc to become swollen thereby resulting in vision loss. During sleep apnea, the concentrations of CO2 in the blood will increase that can cause the blood vessels to become dilated. This can result in an increase in pressure that can lead to optic disc swelling.

Floppy Eyelid Syndrome

Floppy eyelid syndrome is yet another eye disorder linked with sleep apnea. This condition causes the development of large and floppy eyelids in individuals that can turn inward or outward during sleep. This can affect the lubrication of the eyes, cause irritation, redness, and discharge. It is more seen in individuals having Obstructive Sleep Apnea and obesity, and leaving it untreated can cause serious vision problems.

Minimizing the effects of sleep apnea on vision is possible by addressing the root cause of the disorder by using devices like a snore guard. These devices can decrease the occurrence of sleep apnea thus causing minimum interference with the vision and eyes. Using anti snoring devices like a sleep apnea snore guard is a better alternative than a Continuous Position Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine as CPAP mask can negatively affect eye health as well. However, it is recommended to consult an ophthalmologist immediately if any such eye issues occur.

How a Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard Differs From a Snoring Mouthpiece

Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard

Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard

The basic function of both a sleep apnea mouth guard and mouthpiece for snoring is to advance the mandible forward during sleep and make the airway bigger for a free flow of air. Virtually, most of such Mandibular Advancement Devices will be custom fitted to the jaws of an individual.

While the mouthpiece for sleep apnea often gets fitted by a dentist, the clinically certified mouth guards for snoring can be worn by self before bedtime. Since snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, the right device shall be worn correctly to treat the issue. However, only a professional can tell if snoring is actually a sign of sleep apnea in your condition, so you should proactively buy the right remedy.

Both the mouth guards for snoring and sleep apnea are usually made of thermoplastic materials often referred to as the “boil and bite” dentures. The function of advancing the lower jaw forward will be achieved with gradual usage so that snoring can be cured.

A Mandibular Advancement Device used to countermeasure snoring and sleep apnea is fitted using a number of techniques. One of the popular techniques is to heat the device in hot water for a specified duration, cool off in cold water, and then gently bite into the device to get the fit.

In most cases, the mandible is advanced to the extent where the lower front teeth surpass the upper teeth by a wee bit. As a result, the muscles around the throat area will tighten up clearing the blockages in the airway and avoid snoring at night.

Differences between a Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard and a Snoring Mouthpiece

While both the Mandibular Advancement Devices have similar attributes regarding usage and function, there are subtle differences to note. First of all, the key difference is that the mouthpieces advertised specifically for sleep apnea will countermeasure the mild state of the sleep disorder and loud snoring. Even teeth grinding symptom of apnea can be cured using the oral remedy.

Secondly, the sleep apnea mouth guard is a medical device that needs a proper diagnosis and dentist confirmation. On the other hand, a stop snoring mouthpiece can be bought over-the-counter without a prescription to treat occasional snoring or even snoring due to other causes.

Another difference with condition-specific mouthpieces is that the Mandibular Advancement Device for snoring will last for anywhere between 6 to 24 months based on use, the brand, and the construction. However, the sleep apnea mouth guard made from acrylic resins will last for several years.

How Excessive Mucus Formation Contributes to Snoring

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Excessive Mucus Formation

Most of us have suffered from excessive mucus production at some point in our lives. Mucus is, in fact, something produced by our body on a daily basis and has its own purpose in the body such as lubricating the lining of the respiratory tract, and as a defense against dust and microbial particles from entering the body. Sometimes, especially during common cold, our bodies tend to produce excess mucus to deal with the infection.

Relating mucus with snoring is, in fact, something that needs to be considered. Since mucus lines the throat and other respiratory cavities, the chances are high that it can obstruct the airways and thus cause snoring. The occurrence of any allergies or infections can result in the production of too much mucus that can clog the airways. This will result in snoring as well as difficulty breathing in the individual.

Mucus and Snoring

The relationship between mucus and snoring is well established because of the fact that it can obstruct the airways. Mucus lines the membranes of the throat and respiratory tract and it can vibrate during the air passage. One of the common reasons for excess mucus production is when you catch a common cold. It can result in the formation of congestions and phlegm in the nasal and throat cavity.

Both of the phlegm and mucus can be the reasons for causing snoring. Therefore, one way to cure snoring is to follow the medications and other remedies to deal with excessive mucus. This also includes abstaining from dairy products like milk, as they are known to increase the mucus production, and therefore should be avoided at all costs if you are suffering from cold.

Another reason for mucus production is because of smoking. Mucus will continue to build up each time you smoke a cigarette. The smoke can cause the mucus to dry up inside your throat or respiratory cavity. This can create obstructions in the airways thereby contributing to snoring.

Cure for Snoring

If you suffer from snoring because of mucus, you must first consider using an over the counter decongestant. They are highly effective in loosening any of the excessive mucus buildup in the throat and the respiratory tract. Antihistamines are preferred if you suffer from mucus build up due to any allergies. Moreover, try to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water each day and fully avoid any kind of dairy products.

A complete cure for snoring, whether it is caused due to mucus or a range of other causes, is possible only if you use a proper anti snoring device. Stop snoring devices are available in a range of kinds depending upon the individual and the severity of the problem. When used for extended periods, these snoring devices can provide a permanent relief to your snoring problem.