When the jaw opens and the tongue falls into the back of the throat, the airway narrows forcing air through the small opening. This creates vibrations in the throat known as snoring. Snoring is a red flag for a serious and sometimes fatal condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Up to 18-24% of the general population and 40-60% of individuals over age 60 snore. Close to 100% of snorers have apnea (reduced air) tendencies with snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the air-way completely collapses blocking airflow into the lungs. The harder one tries to breath, the tighter the airway seals. This airway obstruction persists until the brain partially awakens the person. Unconsciously, he/she will close the jaw returning the tongue and the throat to a normal position.
The sleep apnea cycle-falling asleep, jaw relaxing, airway collapsing, unconsciously awakening with a gasp, falling back asleep-can repeat itself 50 or more times per hour during the night. With a blocked air passage, one does not receive enough oxygen. Both the awakenings and oxygen deprivation can then trigger other serious health problems.
The HA® is a new therapy available to those who snore or have sleep apnea. The appliance is similar to an athletic mouth guard that is worn while sleeping. Developed with advanced technology over the past 22 years of clinical trials, the HA ® reduces sleep apnea associated health risks without the need for surgery, medications, or other more cumbersome therapy.
Sleep apnea can cause: