Sleep Apnoea Treatment in Darwin

man snoring while woman holds earsAnyone with a partner who snores loudly understands that it’s a nuisance that interrupts the restful sleep necessary for a productive day. Many people do not realise, however, that loud snoring may also indicate a serious medical condition called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

What Causes OSA?

OSA is a form of sleep-disordered breathing that occurs when the tissues and anatomy at the back of the throat relax during sleep, causing a blockage in the airway, leading to choking, gasping and interrupted breathing. 

The disruption of normal sleep patterns cause a release of adrenaline, signalling the brain to wake up because of inadequate oxygen. Arousals may occur dozens of times per night, depending on the severity of the condition. 

OSA reduces the oxygen necessary for healthy systemic function and may lead to:

  • Hypertension
  • Weight gain
  • Mood disorders
  • Type II diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Fatigue
  • Vehicle accidents

When left untreated, it is not only the quality of life that suffers, but OSA can also lead to premature death. Fortunately, getting an accurate diagnosis and following recommended treatment protocols can have a dramatic, positive effect.

Signs and symptoms of OSA often include:

  • Snoring and gasping when asleep
  • Multiple trips to the bathroom during the night
  • Teeth grinding and clenching
  • Morning headaches
  • Exhaustion and inability to concentrate
  • Poor memory retention
  • Acid reflux symptoms
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Accurately Diagnosing Sleep Apnoea in Darwin

To obtain an accurate diagnosis, patients must consult with their medical practitioner to receive a referral to an accredited sleep clinic. Sleep specialists will generally recommend an overnight clinical study to monitor sleep patterns and waking events. 

In the event of an OSA diagnosis, the first line of treatment often includes CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) therapy with the use of a machine and a facemask that delivers a continuous flow of oxygen to keep the airway open during sleep.

Patients often report a number of complaints regarding CPAP therapy:

  • Difficulty using the mask
  • Removing it while sleeping
  • Discomfort and limited mobility during sleep

Dissatisfaction with CPAP therapy leads to significant non-compliance, leaving patients unprotected. At Casuarina Square Dental Care, we provide an alternative to patients for mild to moderate sleep apnoea.

Continuous Open Airway Therapy (COAT) 

diagram demonstrating how an oral appliance works When approved by your sleep specialist, our experienced dentists will create a sleep apnoea oral appliance designed to keep the airway open for improved restorative sleep and to promote improved health.

SomnoDent Oral Appliances

SomnoDent is a device that has been shown to be effective for those who suffer with mild to moderate OSA, or for those who cannot tolerate CPAP. The device works by bringing the lower jaw and base of the tongue away from the soft palate, so the upper airway does not collapse during sleep. This can eliminate snoring and apnoea events during sleep.

Somnodent is custom-fitted by a dentist who is trained in treating sleep-related breathing disorders with oral devices. Because you'll be wearing this oral device for a very long time, you should consider it a good investment in your overall health and well-being.

Are You Tired of Living with OSA?

If you think you, or a loved one, may suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea or any other sleep condition and would like to discuss your concerns further, please call Casuarina Square Dental Care on (08) 8927 9418, or contact us via email.