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The greek word “apnea” translates into “without breath” in the english language. Sleep apnea is the involuntary cessation of the breath while a person sleeps. Recent studies have revealed that sleep disorders are a regular contributor to vehicular accidents. The severity of OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) is being examined in relation to chronic diseases. Receiving a proper diagnosis by a doctor or sleep specialist can reveal if an individual is deemed a high risk for driving while fatigued.

The legalities of diagnosing a person with obstructive sleep apnea has far reaching implications. In the future will people diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea have to pay higher premium insurance costs? What about people who drive commercial vehicles that display symptoms of having a sleep disorder, will they be required to undergo regular exams to retain their licences? People who experience chronic snoring may be reticent to get diagnosed for fear of penalties.

At this current time, there are no laws preventing drivers with sleep apnea from driving. Chronic sleep disorder is a problem that can affect any number of people. For people who suspect they have sleep apnea an early diagnosis is recommended by a medical professional before more serious health complications develop.

Types Of Sleep Apnea

There are 2 main types of sleep apnea:

1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

This occurs when the throat muscles are obstructed by a narrowing of the airway at various stages during sleep. The epiglottis is a cartilaginous flap at the top of the larynx that regulates the passage of air. When it becomes blocked the positive airflow pressure forces the epiglottis in the opposite direction making it difficult for a person to inhale properly. People suffering from OSA may stop breathing up to 100 times during the night, the cessation of breath may last up to a minute or longer. Many people who have this condition are completely unaware of this problem.

2. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

People who suffer from central sleep apnea experience shallow breathing in contrast to a failure to breathe during the night like OSA sufferers. CSA sufferers account for a smaller percentage of all known cases of sleep apnea. OSA is experienced by the majority of people with sleep disorders. The breathing of a CSA sufferer can be extremely shallow resulting in an insufficient intake of air necessary for a restful sleep. The lack of oxygen to the brain usually results in the person waking up in the middle of the night.

The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates an astonishing 858,900 or 3 percent of Canadian adults 18 and older reported sleep apnea symptoms. Of those diagnosed 26 percent of adults reported having all the main symptoms of developing obstructive sleep apnea.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) estimates 50 to 70 million adults in the United States have chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. The CDC analyzed data from a new sleep module that was part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2009. What they discovered among the 74,571 adult respondents in the 12 states was very interesting, 35.3 percent of people who reported getting less than 7 hours of sleep reported delayed alertness in daytime activities.

Public awareness of sleep disorders namely OSA has taken on significant importance in the last few years. Excessive snoring is no longer overlooked by health care professionals as it may have been in the past. Snoring was once thought of as a mild nuisance but extensive research by sleep disorder institutes and doctors has shed light on the link of chronic diseases and sleep apnea. Education and training are the best current methods for combating the effects of sleep apnea. Sleep Awareness Week is an annual public education campaign to promote the necessity and importance of sleep, the last one took place March 2-8, 2015. The NSF (National Sleep Foundation) specifically examines sleep and its effects on the modern family. Lack of sleep is a major cause of traffic accidents. Before getting into the statistics of vehicular accidents lets examine who is at risk for OSA.

Who Is At Risk?

Traditional sleep apnea was thought to be most prevalent in obese males. Longitudinal epidemiological research studies have been found to be accurate in ascertaining diseases within certain demographic groups.

More recently, as Home Sleep Testing (HST) has becoming easier and more prevalent more and more women and men, regardless of weight have mild, moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The following statistics explain why it is important to not delay on having a home sleep test.

People with sleep apnea fit into the following categories:

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  1. Dry mouth
  2. Sore throat
  3. Memory retention problems
  4. Depression and mood swings
  5. Frequent urination during the night
  6. Loud snoring
  7. Gasping for breath
  8. Decreased libido
  9. Daytime lethargy
  10. Falling asleep while driving

Traffic Accident Stats

The vision of RSS 2015 is to make Canada’s roads the safest in the world. In 2008, Canada was ranked 10th in terms of fatalities per billion vehicle kilometers traveled compared to other member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. - Transport Canada website Canada’s Road Safety Strategy (RSS) 2015

The primary risk groups for vehicular fatalities are young drivers aged 16 to 24, medical at risk drivers (i.e. heart disease and cognitive disorders), professional drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists and impaired drivers (drugs, alcohol and sleep deprived motorists). Undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea is a very real threat when it comes to contributing to the statistics having to do with fatalities and traffic accidents.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

The American Thoracic Society recommends patients diagnosed as high risk drivers undergo polysomnography testing at a sleep laboratory. If a clinical study reveals without a doubt a person has OSA, CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) therapy may be recommended for treatment.

CPAP machines and dental appliances have proved to be successful in treating sleep apnea. This is great news for drivers and people employed in the transport industry. Making a simple checklist or talking to your spouse if you display any of the symptoms of this sleep disorder can put your mind at ease. If you think you or a friend or family member are an OSA sufferer, please give our office a call at (778) 803-1615 or fill out the appointment request form under the Contact Us tab. We will help you by arranging a free Home Sleep Test (HST) and diagnosis with a sleep physician who specializes in sleep studies.

A study released last year indicated that sleep apnea could increase the risk of getting diabetes by up to 30%. It’s important to note that the observational study of sleep apnea and diabetes is ongoing. There are no definitive answers as of yet that prove conclusively that sleep apnea patients will develop diabetes.

However, the links are there and show that there is some sort of observable, scientific connection. Now, is this connection or correlation? In this post, we’ll discuss both sleep apnea and diabetes as well as the study that has continued this discussion.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea patients frequently experience periodic gasping or snorting noises, during which they may stop breathing momentarily up to 50 times or more per night. People with sleep apnea experience excessive daytime sleepiness and drowsiness. A person can get a full nights sleep but wake up tired and groggy because of an inadequate lack of air intake. Regular interruption of breathing and the obstruction of the breathing airways can pose serious health complications. A person who suspects they may have sleep apnea should seek a health care provider immediately.

National Institutes of Health

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes your breathing to stop or get very shallow. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to a couple of minutes, this may occur 30 times or more an hour.

The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. It causes your airways to collapse or become blocked during sleep. Normal breathing starts again with a snort or choking sound. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.

You are more at risk for sleep apnea if you are overweight, male, or have a family history of this disorder. Children with enlarged tonsils may also be more susceptible.

Doctors can diagnose sleep apnea based on the following factors: medical family history, a physical exam, and the results of an individual sleep study.

When your sleep is interrupted throughout the night, you can be drowsy during the day. People with sleep apnea are at higher risk for car crashes, work-related accidents, and other medical problems. If you have this disorder it is important to get treatment. Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and breathing devices can treat sleep apnea in many people. - NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there are an estimated 858,900 Canadian adults 18 and older who reported they have sleep apnea.

The Public Health Agency of Canada funded the 2009 Canadian Community Health Survey. This survey conducted by Statistics Canada interviewed 9,523 Canadians 12 years and older. Sleep apnea patients were found to be 2.5 times more likely to report diabetic concerns.


Type 1 diabetes also known as juvenile diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. People with type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin, a hormone that converts sugar into energy needed for daily life activities. A physician will prescribe insulin therapy to help a person deal with this disease. People can lead healthy lives with a proper health regimen.

Diabetes is when a persons blood glucose sugar levels rise higher than normal. People with Type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin. The pancreas produces insulin that controls your blood sugar levels. Excess blood glucose levels may damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart.

Patients who have sleep apnea are vulnerable to Type 2 diabetes. Adult males who are obese, or smokers are often at risk for developing this sleep disorder.

A few people are able to control type 2 diabetes with a change in diet and exercise. A doctor may have to prescribe oral medications or insulin injections to control their blood glucose levels. Certain racial groups are more susceptible to diabetes, afro americans, latinos, native americans, pacific islanders and asian americans are all at risk.

A Public Health Agency of Canada published a 2011 Diabetes in Canada study. Details from the study revealed the following:

Diabetes and Sleep Apnea Connection

The largest study to date linking sleep apnea and diabetes of more than 8,500 patients confirms earlier evidence from shorter follow up periods. Dr. Richard Leung an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and director at the sleep laboratory at Saint Michael’s Hospital Richard Leon conducted a study on this topic. There has been a plethora of similar smaller studies over the years but never to the extent of Dr. Leung’s study.

The sleep apnea and diabetes link has never been proven as conclusive in studies done in the past. The magnitude of Dr. Leung’s study dwarfs previous sleep apnea and diabetic smaller studies from the past. Sleep apnea is most often associated with obesity in men on a larger number average of cases. People with diabetes are often at risk for obesity and vice versa. The large study conducted by Doctor Richard Leung took into consideration factors like obesity, historia cardiac disease, age, sex, socioeconomic status and if a person smoke or not. All factors in the study were controlled statistically, making this a first time ever break through study.

Dr. Leung and his research team still found a 30% high correlation between severe sleep apnea and patients developing diabetes during the follow up period of 10 years. This study showed a clear indication of causation. This observational study is the most accurate to date when it comes to the mechanisms applicable to the group in question. A longitudinal study that spans 10 years is not definitive in proving that sleep apnea leads to diabetes. Future studies will be able to prove without a doubt if sleep apnea is the main culprit for type 2 diabetes.

There is enough accumulative evidence today that patients who have newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes should also be screened for sleep apnea. Family history and the evidence of obesity are strong indicators for people at risk.- summary excerpt from interview

Richard Leung, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and the Director of the Sleep Laboratory at St. Michael's H

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

-Data provided by Public Health Agency of Canada


Physicians should be aware that symptoms for sleep apnea may go hand in hand with the development of Type 2 diabetes. Diet, exercise and weight loss have been shown effective in dealing with sleep apnea. CPAP therapy is an option - but there are alternatives to CPAP. If you suspect you have sleep apnea come see us. We are here to help.

About Dr. Michael Layton

Dr. Michael Layton - South Surrey DentistDr. Michael Layton is a graduate of University of Washington Doctor of Dental Surgery program and completed his orthodontic residency in 2009. He enjoys providing the highest standard of ideal dentistry across multiple disciplines, including dental sleep medicine. You can follow him on Google+ or 'Like' Peace Arch Dental Centre on Facebook.

Snoring is a common problem among all ages and genders. A common complaint among sufferers is the lack of proper sleep they don’t get because of their snoring. Another inconvenience is that snoring causes major problems for whomever you are sleeping with from getting a proper night’s rest. At least half of people who snore loudly suffer from a condition known as sleep apnea.

This post will focus on five holistic methods to reduce or eliminate snoring.

Connecting Breathing And Snoring


Breathing is the breath of life and without receiving air into our lungs we would all die within minutes. The diaphragm is located in the thoracic cavity and it’s the main muscle responsible for the breathing process. When you inhale, your diaphragm contracts and moves downward. The diaphragm is a dome shaped sheet of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen.

The lungs are enclosed in the rib cage and when a person inhales, the intercostal muscles between your ribs expand allowing more air to enter the chest cavity. The expansion of the lungs allows air to travel down your windpipe into your lungs. The air inside the lungs passes through the bronchial tubes before reaching the alveoli little tiny air sacs. CO2 or carbon dioxide moves from the capillaries into the air sacs. Oxygen rich blood from the lungs is carried through a network of capillaries to the pulmonary vein. The pulmonary vein is responsible for carrying oxygen rich blood to the left side of the heart. The freshly oxygenated blood moves into the surrounding tissues of your body giving you life.


When a person exhales your diaphragm relaxes and moves upward into the chest cavity. The space in the chest cavity contracts, the air in the lungs that contains carbon dioxide is forced out of your lungs into the windpipe and out the nose and mouth. Breathing in and out is an autonomous action.

What Causes Snoringa snoring man with sleep apnea

When a person sleeps the muscles of the throat relax and the tongue falls backward. The narrowing of the throat passage results in a person snoring. The narrower the throat constriction the louder the audible noise of a person’s snoring. When the walls of the throat close up completely the result is a condition known as sleep apnea, a very serious condition.

Sleep Apnea

The word apnea means no breath and so a person with sleep apnea repeatedly stops breathing during the night. Sleep interruptions can occur up to 50 or more times per night depending on the person. The danger of sleep apnea is the lack of oxygen being delivered to the brain. The cycle of this sleep disorder results in excessive daytime drowsiness and an increased risk of work related injuries. Sleep apnea is also associated with serious health conditions like heart failure, depression and type 2 diabetes.

The Public Health Agency of Canada developed and funded the 2009 Sleep Apnea Rapid Response Questionnaire. The survey conducted by Statistics Canada interviewed 9,523 Canadian aged 12 years and older.

An estimated 858,900 Canadian adults 18 years and older reported being told by a

health professional that they have sleep apnea.


5 Natural Ways To Stop Snoring


  1. Reduce the mucus in your body - Excess mucus obstructs the breathing airway similar to the inflammation caused by allergies or a common cold. When you have a cold you cough up phlegm from the lungs. Eating and drinking dairy products is the number one culprit when it comes to mucus in the body. According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation lactose intolerance affects more than 7 million Canadians. Lactose is the sugar found in milk products, lactose intolerant individuals lack the enzyme to break down this sugar for absorption in the human body. If you have excess mucus try laying off dairy products for a period of 30 days, it just may reduce your snoring. The common western practice of consuming milk for bone health is not the only way to get your calcium intake. Nowadays there are plenty of options for milk free products like, soy, almond milk, rice milk and coconut milk.
  2. Neti pot remedy - A neti pot is small flattened fluid filled teapot preferably made from a ceramic. For best results fill with one cup of sterile warm water, add a mixture of sea salt or baking soda. Standing over a sink with your head tilted to the side, place the spout of the neti pot to your nostril and slowly pour the sterile warm water into your nose, while breathing through your mouth during irrigation. Perform this remedy a few times a day for a month until your snoring subsides.
  3. Pranayama yoga exercises - Prana is the sanskrit word for life force. The life force in Yogic science comes from the breath we inhale. Ujjayi Pranayama breathing can help alleviate snoring if practiced on a regular basis. To practice Ujjayi breathing sit cross legged or in the Siddhasana position. After you exhale, inhale fully with both nostrils while your back is straight. Hold the air as long you can. Close your right nostril with your right thumb and exhale from the left nostril. Repeat another 1 to 2 times to start with and then increase up to 5 to 7 times. This is one of the most practical exercises for alleviating snoring, it improves the functioning of the lungs and clears the throat.
  4. Eucalyptus oil - Apply a small dab of oil under each nostril before going to sleep. Another method is adding eucalyptus oil to a steam vapor machine, the diluted eucalyptus oil will do wonders for your nose and mouth canal. For added benefit, keep your head wrapped with a warm towel.
  5. Ayurvedic home remedy- Take 1 glass of lukewarm water, ½ teaspoon cardamom powder, mix it well and consume daily at bedtime. Instead of laying on your back when going to sleep, go to sleep on your side and elevate your head by 4” or 5”. This position will prevent your tongue from rolling back and obstructing your airway. Cardamom is a common herb used in many indian dishes. One of its many health benefits is improving circulation to the lungs, it is also beneficial for people suffering from bronchitis or asthma.

Things To Avoid

Custom Home Dental Appliances - To Treat Sleep Apnea

Consider Oral Appliance Therapy with the purchase of a Mandibular repositioning device (MRD). These CAD/CAM designed devices fit inside your mouth, they work by keeping the pharynx open allowing unobstructed airflow. MRDs work best with mild to moderate OSA patients.

Advantages of MRDs

CPAP Machines

CPAP machines are a common non-surgical therapy device for patients dealing with OSA. The acronym CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. The CPAP machine is comprised of three main parts: the mask, tube and flow generator. To qualify for CPAP therapy, your physician must sign off on a per patient basis.

Disadvantages of CPAP Machines


These basic remedies are just a few of the ways that people throughout the years have practiced to alleviate their snoring. Results differ depending on the individual. A person interested in treating themselves naturally may have to experiment with several methods before achieving the results they want.


Do you have a child that is chronically tired, snores loudly at night or suffers from hyperactivity? If your child experiences any or all these sleep disturbances it could be the cause of a more serious life threatening condition called sleep apnea. A good way for parents to put their minds at ease is to be aware of general symptoms related to this sleep disorder, they will then have the option to seek specialized medical attention if necessary.

Sleep apnea is when normal breathing during sleep ceases for up to 10 seconds at a time. Some of the side effects of sleep interruption include tiredness during the daytime and an adverse affect on a persons quality of life.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the more serious form of this sleep disorder. Harvard Medical school defines OSA as follows, “Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much when you are asleep. This lets the tissues around your throat close in and block the airway. You stop breathing for a few seconds (this pause in breathing is called apnea). Your brain has to wake you up enough so you gasp or change positions to unblock the airway. You aren’t even aware it’s happening. These stop-breathing episodes can occur dozens of times per hour, making you feel tired the next day. Even worse, they increase blood pressure and heart rate, putting stress on the cardiovascular system and increasing your risk for a stroke.”

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea in Children Can Be Tricky

Pediatric OSA is more difficult to diagnose in small children as they may be too young to verbalize their general well being, parents should be especially observant for the following signs.

ADHD, Children and Sleep Apnea

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common mental health disorder affecting children in the United States. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration published a study entitled “Trends in the Parent-Report of Health Care Provider-Diagnosed and Medicated ADHD: United States, 2003-2011.” The simplified translation of this title should be “Parents who have taken their children to a health care provider to be diagnosed for ADHD.” This study revealed that 11 percent or 6.4 million children aged 4 to 17 were diagnosed with ADHD in 2011. The study went on to reveal that ADHD increased from 7.8 percent in 2003 to 11 percent in 2011. These numbers can not all be attributed to sleep apnea, however sleep apnea appears to be a factor in numerous individual studies with children diagnosed with ADHD. Sleep apnea and ADHD is a controversial connection that requires more hard data to back up these claims. I mentioned the CDC study in this article as a guideline for parents to be aware of if their child may have been diagnosed with ADHD.

The more signs a parent observes surrounding sleep apnea the sooner treatment can be made available by a qualified Pediatric ENT or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). Unruly children who misbehave in class may very well have a clinical reason behind their actions that should be evaluated by a qualified professional for OSA.

Enlarged Tonsils

Enlarged tonsils and adenoids is an easily identifiable symptom in children experiencing sleep disorders related to sleep apnea. Diagnosing children with enlarged tonsils is easier than verifying some of the other symptoms which can be attributed to many other different ailments. A child diagnosed with sleep apnea who has enlarged tonsils can be examined by an ear, nose, throat specialist or pediatrician who can advise if a tonsillectomy is necessary to restore proper airflow. In up to 75 percent of reported cases the tonsillectomy procedure has been shown to cure sleep apnea in children. Depending on the physician advising the parents of a child with OSA they may recommend a sleep study before they consider surgically removing the tonsils. The American Academy of Pediatrics published a study titled “Diagnosis and Management of Childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome” where they discovered that adenoidectomy or tonsillectomy were highly effective in treating high risk patients who had Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS).

Obesity and the Sleep Apnea Link

There is ample evidence of a link between obesity and OSA in children and adolescents. The rate of OSA in this group has been recorded as high as 60 percent. Another study revealed that 46 percent of children undergoing polysomnography treatment were obese. Children especially in developed countries are at ever increasing risks for obesity. Researchers and Doctors measure the Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine obesity, children who test in the 95th percentile are classified as obese. Children who are already obese and are experiencing some of the symptoms outlined in this article should also be tested for OSA.

Sleep Study for Children

For a definitive answer to the question regarding if your child has sleep apnea consider a pediatric sleep study or polysomnogram at a sleep clinic. This test measures the four stages of sleep including brain wave activity and certain body functions pertaining to sleep.

Children Can Heal from Sleep Apnea

The numerous methods outlined here to diagnose sleep apnea and the resources available to a qualified D.D.S. to treat this condition are available to the parent who is concerned for the welfare of a child who may have the symptoms discussed in this article.

Rest assured help is available from a wide range of sources, the next time your child complains of chronic tiredness set up a consultation with your dental specialist for an initial appointment. Sleep apnea is a treatable condition where if caught early will prevent future health issues for your child.

About Dr. Michael Layton

Dr. Michael Layton - South Surrey DentistDr. Michael Layton (DDS) is the dentist for Peace Arch Dental, a dental office in the South Surrey/White Rock, B.C. area. He has been in the dental industry for the last decade and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Washington. He takes pride in providing positive and caring dental solutions for people of every walk of life. You can follow him on Google+.

Sleep Apnea Sufferer

If you find yourself falling asleep while you are sitting at your desk or worse yet, driving home from work, you could be suffering from Sleep Apnea. According to Web MD, morning headaches, snoring, gasping and choking could all be signs of Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea affects over 18 million adults in the United States.

Types Of Sleep Apnea

There are two types of Sleep Apnea, the more common; Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the muscles in your throat relax and the upper passages of your airways close. The other type of Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea, is rarer and disturbs your breathing because of brain functions. Central Sleep Apnea is normally associated with a serious illness. Central Sleep Apnea in infants causes breathing to cease for up to twenty seconds.

Causes Of Sleep Apnea

Serious health problems that may be the cause of Central Sleep Apnea include

• Hypothyroid Disease
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Alzheimer’s Disease
• Kidney Failure
• Lou Gehrig’s Disease
• Encephalitis
• Stroke
• Congestive Heart Failure

Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

The main symptom for Central Sleep Apnea is breathing stoppage while you sleep. Snoring is one of the strongest symptoms for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but is not so common in Central Sleep Apnea.

Some of the Central Sleep Apnea symptoms include

• Waking up at night
• Falling asleep during waking hours
• Frequent urination
• Early morning headaches
• Memory problems
• Difficulty concentrating
• Mood swings

Signs of sleep apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea are both very serious disorders that can cause a person to stop breathing multiple times during sleep. Some doctors have seen sleep study cases where the patient wakes up hundreds of times during sleep gasping for breath. Once this occurs the rest of the body is not getting the oxygen it needs causing the patient to wake up choking unable to breathe.

Sleep Apnea does affect children and women, but men who are over 40 years old and carry more weight than they should are more susceptible to Sleep Apnea.

Some Sleep Apnea signs to look for include

• Daytime Sleepiness
• Poor Concentration
• Slow Reflexes
• Increased Accident Risk
• Memory Problems
• Morning Headaches
• Irritability
• Depression
• Mood Swings
• Changes in Personality
• Sore Throat or Dry Mouth
• Tobacco Use

Sleep apnea weight gain

Over time, Sleep Apnea can cause serious health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and even weight gain.

Identifying Sleep Apnea on your own can be difficult as most of the symptoms such as gasping for breath, choking, snoring and the inability to breath only occur when you are asleep. Your partner can help observe your sleeping habits, or you can record yourself when you are asleep.

Seeing your doctor is the best way to diagnose your problem. Your doctor will be able to provide you with a sleep study in order to determine the root cause of your gasping for breath while you sleep.

Ask yourself these questions, which may be able to help you identify Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or Central Sleep Apnea

1. Do you snore three or more times a week?
2. Can everyone in the house hear you snoring?
3. Has your partner or someone else observed gasping or breathing stoppage while you sleep?
4. Are you overweight?
5. What is the size of your collar?
6. Are you being treated for, or do you have high blood pressure?
7. Do you find yourself falling asleep during the day?
8. Do you ever doze off behind the wheel?

Sleep Apnea Blocked Airway

If you are a man with a collar size of more than 17 inches or a woman with a collar size larger than 16 inches you may be suffering from Sleep Apnea as neck size can constrict your breathing.

Remember, not everyone who snores suffers from Sleep Apnea, and not everyone who suffers from Sleep Apnea snores. The biggest way to tell if you are suffering from Sleep Apnea is how you feel during your waking hours. Normal snoring does not cause extreme fatigue like Sleep Apnea does.

Keep a sleep diary and record how often you wake up at night. If you have a partner, ask he or she to keep track of how loud, and how often you snore. Also, ask your partner to take note of choking, gasping, or other sounds that are unusual while you are sleeping.

If you have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, schedule an appointment with Peace Arch Dental who can help you come up with a plan to help you sleep better.

About Dr. Michael Layton

Dr. Michael Layton PostsDr. Michael Layton (DDS) is the dentist for Peace Arch Dental, a dental office in the South Surrey/White Rock, B.C. area. He has been in the dental industry for the last decade and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Washington. He takes pride in providing positive and caring dental solutions for people of every walk of life - this includes loose dentures! You can follow him on Google+.

Partners with Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea causes snoring and most people are aware of this. In fact, many other health issues can occur if you suffer from Sleep Apnea. When you stop breathing, the oxygen levels in your body tell your brain that something is wrong.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

More than 38 million adults in the United States snore, but the National Sleep Foundation has discovered that not all snoring is the same. Snoring occasionally can be due to bad sleeping positions or congestion, but habitual snoring is another issue all together.

More than 25 percent of people over the age of 50 deal with Sleep Apnea, which is a double-edged sword if you have issues with your heart, are overweight, or deal with high blood pressure.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea and Cardiovascular Disease

Sleep Apnea occurs when there is an air passage obstruction during sleep at the back of the throat. This can happen as little as once or twice an hour or as much as once every sixty seconds. The severe stress that can result during every Sleep Apnea disorder can cause a series of ailments including cardiovascular disease. The repetitive sleep disruptions that occur during the night leave those who suffer with serious health problems including stroke, coronary artery disease, and hypertension.

How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Heart Health

Recent research has indicated that those who deal with Sleep Apnea are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Because the person who has the sleeping disorder stops breathing during an episode it can cause serious heart problems. When the sleep disorder is treated, the risk of a massive heart attack is greatly reduced.

Coronary Artery Disease

There is also evidence that Sleep Apnea is a contributor when it comes to coronary artery disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, those who are already dealing with coronary artery disease are more apt to have a massive heart attack while they sleep. The risk of a heart attack is reduced if the person seeks help for Sleep Apnea

Heart Systems

Other heart problems that could occur from sleeping disorders include atrial fibrillation and abnormal heart beats. Recent studies indicate that people who are treated for Sleep Apnea notice a dramatic improvement decreasing the severity of heart arrhythmia.

Cardiologists have indicated that moderate to severe Sleep Apnea can actually weaken the heart muscle. This affects the pumping ability, which could lead to heart failure. When Sleep Apnea is treated, it can strengthen the heart muscle reducing the risk of congestive heart failure.

Heart Pump

People who have high blood pressure have noticed a dramatic improvement after sleep disorder treatment. Hypertension can be helped for those who suffer from moderate or severe sleep apnea. When you stop breathing during sleep your blood pressure will raise, the oxygen levels in your body will fall and the receptors in your brain will be alerted. The brain will respond by sending signals to your nervous system telling your blood vessels to tighten up, as this will increase the oxygen flow to the brain and the heart. Unfortunately high blood pressure that is caused by Sleep Apnea can affect the person when they are awake as the lower levels of oxygen during sleeping hours will trigger mechanisms that will continue throughout the day, even when breathing normally.

Mood Swings

How It Affects Your Mood

Sleep Apnea can also cause anxiety and mood swings virtually affecting every waking and sleeping moment. Because the sufferer is constantly trying to breathe while sleeping, the patient can become fatigued, overwhelmed, and anxious. Even sex drive has been linked to moderate or severe Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea And Your Physical Health

Central Obesity

Because people who suffer from Sleep Apnea lack energy, it is nearly impossible to lose weight. Because of excessive tiredness, exercise is usually out of the question leading to increased fatigue and weight gain. In a recent Sleep Journal conducted in New York, researchers discovered that hormonal changes occur when those involved in the study were unable to breath during sleep affecting insulin and glucose levels that can cause excessive weight gain. Lack of sleep can also lead to excessive hunger and overeating.

Tired While Driving

Other problems that can occur with Sleep Apnea include daytime sleepiness, sleep deprivation, concentration problems, and memory loss. If you have a sleep disorder, you could also aggravate restless legs syndrome, asthma, and chronic pain. Driving and operating machinery could be extremely dangerous if you are not treated for Sleep Apnea.

If you are having trouble sleeping, snore excessively or think you may be suffering from Sleep Apnea contact your dentist who may be able to help with your sleep disorder.

About Dr. Michael Layton

Dr. Michael Layton PostsDr. Michael Layton (DDS) is a dentist based in the South Surrey/White Rock, B.C. area. He has been in the dental industry for the last decade and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Washington. He takes pride in providing positive and caring dental solutions for people of every walk of life. You can follow him on Google+.


For those who are diagnosed and being treated for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a condition affecting approximately 30 million people in the United States, you know that your treatment options are few and many tend to be on the invasive side.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea, OSA, is caused by the airway collapsing during sleep, causing the sufferer to stop breathing. The condition is characterized by gasping and choking during sleep and, most commonly, loud chronic snoring. Long-term, untreated sufferers are susceptible to co-morbidities like hypertension, heart disease and impotence from the oxygen deprivation and vascular damage associated with the condition.

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The “gold standard” for treatment is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, CPAP. CPAP is a machine that blows air into the throat, increasing the pressure internally so that the airway cannot collapse or become blocked. The causes of these blockages typically are the tongue and soft tissues falling into the throat or excess weight around the neck collapsing the airway.

A person using CPAP therapy wears a mask, much like an oxygen mask used in a hospital, which is attached to the machine with a hose. A prescribing physician sets the air pressure level based on the person’s OSA severity. The increased pressure keeps the airway open, allowing the OSA sufferer to breathe normally, without cessation throughout the night. Patients who go on CPAP therapy for their OSA report increased energy during the day, better concentration and decreases in many other health conditions that associated with OSA.

While CPAP therapy is the best means of treatment for OSA, many patients have a hard time using the machine. In cases of severe OSA, the pressure setting can be quite high, making treatment difficult to tolerate. Compliance with CPAP therapy is around fifty percent. The most widely talked about problems patients have with CPAP is mask discomfort and throat irritation from the air pressure. Many times patients stop using CPAP therapy all together.

There are alternative treatments available for those who fail CPAP. The two most widely accepted in the medical community are surgery and Oral Appliances.

Surgery can be painful, invasive and ineffective. The most common surgical option is the Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP. The UPPP removes the uvula, the ball of skin that hangs in the back of the throat, some of the soft palate, and in extreme cases, part of the tongue. The procedure is very painful, recovery takes a long time and rarely does it completely solve the issue.


Oral Appliances for the treatment of OSA, while having been around for the past 30 plus years, are a growing treatment options for many who have stopping using CPAP or have mild or moderate OSA. Oral Appliances work by gently holding the mandible, or lower jaw, forward, pulling the tissues that block the airway away from the throat and tightening the muscles in the neck further preventing collapse. The appliances look like orthodontic retainers or athletic mouth guards and are very comfortable to wear when made and fitted by a dentist who has been educated in the field of Dental Sleep Medicine.

If you are prescribed a CPAP and cannot tolerate it, talk to your primary care physician and dentists about alternatives. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious condition and going without any type of therapy can be life threatening.

Dr. Michael Layton PostsDr. Michael Layton (DDS) is a dentist based in the South Surrey/White Rock, B.C. area. He has been in the dental industry for the last decade and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Washington. He takes pride in providing positive and caring dental solutions for people of every walk of life. You can follow him on Google+.

peacearch-logo Sleep Apnea can happen to anyone, and affects over 20 million adults in the United States. In fact, some people are not even aware that they have it. There are two types of Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and Central Sleep Apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea causes people to stop breathing while sleeping and can last for at least 10 seconds as the muscles in the back of your throat literally prevent your airways from opening. vitale-4 Your Dentist will tell you that Central Sleep Apnea has the same symptoms as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but is less common. Central Sleep Apnea occurs when your brain does not control your breathing while you are sleeping. Obstructive Sleep Apnea, also known as OSA can happen to men and women in all age groups, but there are certain factors that will increase the risk of OSA. Some of these could include large tonsils, small airways at the back of your throat, a large uvula, or a large tongue. Other factors include small jaws, large necks, and obesity. People who drink or smoke are also at risk. article1363120498ec72d0823b48325f2a38a2c9dd01d9961 If you suffer from OSA, you probably snore, as this is one of the biggest indicators. Men and women who have Sleep Apnea will find themselves sleeping while on the phone, at work, or even behind the wheel. If left untreated, Sleep Apnea could have devastating results for everyone concerned. Although a CPAP Machine, which is a breathing device, has been used for years, most patients find it an uncomfortable solution for Sleep Apnea, and although it helps open your air passageways, requires the patient to wear a mask that fits over your face. cpap Not everyone can wear a mask when sleeping. Some find the CPAP so uncomfortable that they are unable to sleep, which is the reason for the CPAP Machine in the first place. Much has changed in the past few years, and these days there are alternatives for patients who find a CPAP machine intolerable.   Sleep-apnea-oral-and-dental-device1 Your dentist can fit you with a dental appliance that will replace your cumbersome CPAP Machine. These oral appliances are custom-made and have been proven to help people sleep better at night. Along with sleeping better, the oral appliances can also help with the emotional and medical problems that go hand in hand with Sleep Apnea. Instead of forcing you to breathe, as a CPAP Machine does, a dental appliance will make you breathe easier as it allows your jaw to move forward gently and effectively. Custom-made dental appliances have had remarkable results and are extremely comfortable. images Sleep is crucial for both your physical and mental health, and if you find yourself waking up gasping for air, you could be suffering from Obstructive or Central Sleep Apnea.

About Dr. Michael Layton

Dr. Michael Layton PostsDr. Michael Layton (DDS) is a dentist based in the South Surrey/White Rock area. With over 10 years of experience in the dental industry and a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Washington, Dr. Layton enjoys providing safe and easy dental solutions for every patient that walks through the doors of his practice - and reads his blog. You can follow him on Google+.

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