Sleep apnea is classified as a dyssomnia, meaning abnormal behavior or psychological events occur during sleep.When breathing is paused, carbon dioxide builds up in the bloodstream. Chemoreceptors in the blood stream note the high carbon dioxide levels. The brain is signaled to wake the person sleeping and breathe in air. Breathing normally will restore oxygen levels and the person will fall asleep again.
People have issues with excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and impaired alertness. In other words, common effects of sleep apnea include daytime fatigue, a slower reaction time, and vision problems.SA may increase risk for driving accidents and work-related accidents. If SA is not treated, one has an increased risk of other health problems such as diabetes.
Oral devices, in particular Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS), which hold the mandible in a protruded position during sleep, are increasingly used for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). These devices can be effective in treating OSA across a range of severity. Complete resolution of OSA (Apnoea-Hypopnoea Index [AHI] reduced <5/hr) with use of an MAS occurs in around 40% of patients.