Sleep Apnea Treatment with Custom Appliances in Houston, TX

Close-up portrait of a smiling mature man resting in bed at homeSleep apnea is a chronic condition where sufferers experience multiple prolonged delays in breathing throughout the night. These apneas can last for several seconds and occur dozens of times nightly. People with sleep apnea suffer reduced sleep quality. Poor sleep can reduce mental acuity, impair reaction times, and hinder memory. These symptoms persist even though the patient may not realize there is a problem – many sufferers feel “worn out” with no apparent cause. Over time, sleep apnea has significant systemic effects throughout the body. People with sleep apnea are more likely to suffer from certain forms of organ failure, immune diseases, and much more.

The sooner you verify sleep apnea, the better. Following diagnosis, treatment can help you restore your breathing and sleep soundly at night. The team at HS Apnea can enhance your quality of sleep and help prevent any further health damage. Call our Houston sleep medicine office today!


Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment

young couple relaxing on top of bedA blockage in the airway during sleep causes sleep apnea. Soft tissue blocks the movement of air, a variation called obstructive sleep apnea. Soft tissue blockage can happen in the throat, palate, or elsewhere. Treatment centers work to eliminate this blockage or reduce its effects. Most people have sleep apnea for months or years before getting a definite diagnosis. The most effective way of diagnosing sleep apnea is through a home sleep study kit. Dr. Landry can provide you with a complete kit and detailed instructions for monitoring your sleep activity for several nights.

The monitoring equipment in a home sleep study gathers data about your body during sleep. It can tell us how many apneas you experience each night and how long they last. It can also indicate how severely your sleep quality has been affected. Once you begin effective sleep apnea treatment, symptoms often subside. Sleep quality improves, along with mental alertness, memory, and mood regulation. These benefits create a profound improvement in your quality of life.

Surgical removal of soft tissue is an option for sleep apnea treatment, but most patients choose a non-surgical option. A customized oral appliance can be worn during the night to adjust the position of the soft palate, tongue, and lower jaw. These adjustments alleviate sleep apnea in most cases.

Benefits of Our Advanced Treatment Options

Rear view of a young man waking up in bed and stretching his armsAppliances are growing in popularity as sleep apnea treatment. Many people prefer them to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) because a CPAP machine can be uncomfortable to use. Appliances are just as effective and much more convenient.

Using an appliance makes the condition more manageable and makes it easier to practice the lifestyle changes that can reduce sleep apnea symptoms. Lowering alcohol consumption, losing weight, and eliminating smoking can benefit you and your quality of sleep in many ways. Raising your head with extra pillows and changing positions may also be supportive, as sleep apnea is much more likely to occur when sleeping on your back. Although lifestyle changes are always valuable, they cannot resolve severe cases of sleep apnea. An oral appliance is the most reliable approach for the majority of patients with severe symptoms.

Types of Appliances

There are several different oral appliances for sleep apnea treatment. After getting a sleep apnea diagnosis, it’s essential to choose the right one. In many cases, patients notice an improvement in sleep quality right away – even if they had not been aware they had sleep apnea before, the difference is that noticeable. Some of the most popular oral appliances include:

ProSomnus IA

ProSomnus IAProSomnus IA is an oral appliance engineered for precision. We can customize it to fit your exact needs to ensure the best symptom reduction possible for you. It is lightweight, with 30% less volume than comparable devices. It also has more than four times more tongue space than other similar devices.

Extreme freedom of movement makes ProSomnus IA easy to use. Variations of the ProSomnus design are available for patients who have challenged lip competency – that is, difficulty maintaining closed lips at rest, which can indicate sleep issues. ProSomnus IA has more areas of customization than most other devices. Each appliance is fabricated according to your precise needs using digital images taken by our highly qualified team. The devices are also very durable and rarely need replacement.

The Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP)The Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) has a success rate of more than 95% for sleep apnea patients. It also helps those who have severe snoring but do not yet exhibit signs of sleep apnea. TAP gently maintains the lower jaw in a forward position so it cannot fall open when the body relaxes during sleep. This effect maintains clearance of the airway and reduces apneas.

Unlike many other oral appliances, TAP can easily be adjusted at home by the patient, although it may take a few days to find the ideal setting. More than 7,000 doctors have prescribed TAP to date, and there are several dozen research studies that verify its effects. It is one of the most trusted oral appliances on the market. Patients enjoy the comfortable, custom fit, durable construction, and the ability to adjust the device at will. TAP is small, streamlined, and perfect for travel.

Adjustable Herbst ApplianceAn Adjustable Herbst Appliance, called Herbst for short, is a two-piece device. Two trays are held together by hinges, and adjusting the screws changes the degree of jaw advancement. This appliance is considered by many patients to be the most comfortable oral appliance. It is useful for both sleep apnea and snoring and can be fabricated from a wide range of materials.

Insertion and removal of the Adjustable Herbst Appliance both take only a few seconds. You can also make forward or backward adjustment of the device’s fit without any training. Adjusting the Herbst Appliance is as simple as turning the provided tool clockwise or counterclockwise for a few seconds. Cleaning the equipment is also easy, helping protect it from wear and tear and prolonging its effectiveness.

Dorsal ApplianceThe Dorsal Appliance is another popular sleep apnea treatment option. The device’s design has a long history of use for temporomandibular joint disorders, which are characterized by pain in the jaw and nearby muscles. TMJ diseases often appear alongside sleep apnea. Acrylic is the most common material for a Dorsal Appliance, but dual laminate and thermal splint material may also be available. The choice of materials influences fit, comfort, and “mouth feel.” The right option can further reduce the risk of side effects in some patients.

The two-piece construction of a Dorsal Appliance emphasizes lateral (side to side) jaw movement. Dorsal fins on the lower appliance interface with inclines in the upper appliance to specify a mouth position and level of jaw advancement. The lateral movement of the Dorsal Appliance is helpful for patients who experience discomfort and stiffness of the jaw after trying an oral appliance. Enhanced lateral motion of the jaw can eliminate this discomfort, which is often most intense in the morning.

Personalized Care at Houston Sleep Apnea

Dr. Landry works with everyone on an individual basis and offers treatment options based on your unique circumstances. We take the time to get to know you and collect medical history, discuss your symptoms, and present you with all your options. We are dedicated to helping you eliminate headaches in the morning, tired afternoons, snoring at night, and halted breathing while you sleep. Our office is designed to give you the most comfortable and relaxing experience possible. Come in and see how Five-Star services and advanced technology can help you sleep better and live better. Call us today!



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