Sleep Apnea

CPAP Intolerance with Sleep Apnea

January 11, 2016

Sleep Apnea ChairObstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by repetitive episodes of sleep arousal due to the collapse of the upper airway tissues during sleep. The tell-tale clinical symptom of OSA is usually excessive and persistent snoring. People that share a bed or room with someone with OSA will sometimes witness or hear that the snoring abruptly ceases during the apneic episodes. Waking up as many as 100s of times every night results in daytime sleepiness that can lead to impairment of almost any day-to-day activity. Unfortunately, CPAP, one of the most frequently prescribed sleep apnea treatments, doesn’t work for everyone.

CPAP Intolerance

Diagnosis of OSA very often leads to a referral for CPAP treatment. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a mask that fits over the nose and mouth and must be worn each night. There are patients who like their CPAP machines from the day they receive them and never experience problems adjusting. There are many variations of the CPAP machine, but unfortunately, there are quite a few people that are simple CPAP intolerant. Side effects include face breakouts from the straps, nasal and eye irritation, dry mouth, sore throat, and runny nose. Patients with allergies, mouth Read more »

Can Sleep Apnea Occur in Children?

December 28, 2015

Child Brushing TeethThe condition of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is generally thought of as an adult plight. People who are above middle-age, overweight, or have a family history of OSA are certainly more likely to be afflicted. However, any age group, gender, or type of person can be at risk for sleep apnea. In fact, even children can be diagnosed with pediatric sleep apnea.

OSA in Children

Most cases of sleep apnea occurring in young people can lead to the same symptoms as adult obstructive sleep apnea cases. Snoring and other signs of disturbed sleep are important to pay attention to at any age, but especially in small children. Pay attention to children who snore a lot. If you hear a long pause in breathing while your child is sleeping (whether they snore or not) there could be a problem with OSA. Other symptoms to pay attention to in conjunction with OSA can include night sweats, day time tiredness, and dry mouth complaints. Read more »

Pillow Shopping for Sleep Apnea Patients

May 13, 2015

Sleep Apnea ChairHave you ever known anyone who had a favorite pillow that they took with them anywhere they were going to spend the night? Some people spend years finding the perfect pillow, and once they find it, they can’t dream of sleeping without it. Do you have the pillow of your dreams or is does it feel more like a nightmare when you lay your head down at night? A good pillow can even help with obstructive sleep apnea severity.

Types of Pillows

When you lay your head on your pillow at night, do you ever think about what’s inside of it? There are many possibilities as to what might be stuffing your pillow to plump perfection for resting your wary head. Which type of pillow filling is the most comfortable is a personal decision.  Down-feathers, or a  combination of down and synthetic feathers, are common in pillows. Foam – particularly memory foam – has become a big trend in pillows, mattresses, and mattress toppers.  The foam is designed to give more neck support and mold to the shape of your head and neck. Some people prefer a very Read more »

Sleep Apnea Patients Experience Insomnia and Depression

October 21, 2014

InsomniaOne unfortunate side effect of depression is not feeling able to get out of bed because you’re so exhausted and life seems insurmountable. However, for plenty of people who are struggling with clinical depression, getting to sleep might be a whole other issue. Insomnia (the inability to sleep) is a common complaint of depressed people. Barrington dentist, Dr. Jennifer Mullarkey, will explain a bit more about depression and how it can affect the quality and amount of your sleep, potentially putting you at higher risk for sleep apnea.

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder wherein the patient has trouble maintaining a nightly restorative sleep pattern. This lack of sleep quality and quantity can impair your daily functioning during the day, and the anxiety and fear of not being able to get to sleep again the next night may only make your exhaustion and frustration worse. With insomnia, you get too little sleep, have a great challenge with the falling Read more »

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Quiz

August 14, 2014

True False ChalkHave you been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or do you suspect you should seek out a sleep study to see if your breathing stops temporarily throughout the night?  Buffalo Grove dentistDr. Jennifer Mullarkey, can improve your knowledge of OSA and help you determine whether you should schedule a consultation and seek treatment. Try this true or false quiz to learn more.


Q1. True or False – There are three types of sleep apnea.

Q2. True or false – Among the diseases linked to OSA are diabetes, heart disease, and shingles.

Q3. True or false – Most patients describe CPAP machines as more comfortable than oral appliances and prefer them for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Read more »

Are you at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

August 12, 2014

SnoringObstructive sleep apnea (OSA) results from soft tissues blocking your airway during relaxed sleeping postures. OSA causes a complete stop in your breathing. Many people term the condition as simply “sleep apnea” which is technically an umbrella term for two varying types of the condition. OSA is triggered by your physical positioning, whereas central sleep apnea is a much more rare condition of the brain which would require an entirely different type of treatment. Central sleep apnea should be treated by your general physician. However, OSA can potentially be dealt with by Arlington Heights dentistDr. Jennifer Mullarkey.

Who Is At Risk for OSA?

Some people might realize they are experiencing nighttime arousals due to a halt in your breathing. They may feel extremely tired in spite of clocking plenty of hours sleep, however. If you suspect you have OSA but figure it’s not anything to worry about, you should realize that the condition has serious potential side effects. Heart disease and diabetes have unfortunately been linked to sleep apnea. Since these conditions are generally more Read more »

Turn to Dentists for Sleep Apnea Help

August 6, 2014

Sleeping ManAccording to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million Americans have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). You may not think of this condition as having anything to do with dentistry, but there are actually certain OSA treatments which fall under the realm of dental expertise. Lake Forest dentist, Dr. Jennifer Mullarkey, is available to help patients who are dealing with OSA. To learn more, here are some facts about sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Facts

Fact #1: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when soft tissues block your airway during the relaxed state of sleep. Dr. Mullarkey can fit you with an oral appliance which will help keep your airways open. Central sleep apnea is a condition of the brain, and should be brought to the attention of your general doctor, if suspected.

Fact #2: Heart disease and diabetes have been linked to sleep apnea, which is more prevalent in overweight individuals. Maintaining a healthy weight can greatly reduce the risk of all three of these dangerous conditions. Read more »

Is Sleep Apnea More Dangerous for Pregnant Women?

June 24, 2014

Pregnant FamilyAccording to a study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, obese women who battle any form of sleep apnea during pregnancy are at a much higher risk of health problems. Even more troublesome is how this affects the health of the baby. People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) experience hundreds of episodes where their breathing literally pauses during sleep, followed by a panicked arousal response. Health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes have been linked to OSA. These diseases are all the more dangerous in the case of pregnancy.

Dangers of OSA in Pregnancy

Scientific researchers at the University of South Florida studied 175 pregnant women on this very topic. About 15% of the volunteers had OSA according to a portable device worn while they slept. All of the women in the study were classified as obese. Obesity, high blood pressure, and Read more »

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Chicago

May 2, 2012

Has your bed partner complained that you snore excessively? Do you wake up fatigued even after a full eight hours of sleep? Obstructive sleep apnea is a common condition that often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Did you know that our dentists at Arlington Heights Smiles treat sleep apnea? Dr. Brent Engelberg and his colleagues Dr. William Uhler and Dr. Lisa Wolff discuss sleep apnea symptoms, risk factors, and treatment.

Facts about Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) prevents a patient from progressing through the natural sleep cycle. Most patients with OSA suffer from chronic fatigue, memory loss, irritability, and concentration problems. People with sleep apnea cease breathing hundreds of times throughout the night because soft oral tissues relax and obstruct airways. Patients may cease breathing up to a minute each time. During these short periods of breathing cessation, the brain sends signals to wake the sleeper to reinitiate the normal breathing process. Although patients may not remember waking multiple times, their sleep patterns are severely disrupted. Read more »