Sleep-disordered breathing includes a wide spectrum of conditions that affect breathing during sleep, like snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. At Strategies for Success in Los Gatos, California, Nicole Cavalea, MS, CCC-SLP, and the team specialize in diagnosing and treating sleep-disordered breathing. They see a strong connection between abnormal orofacial muscle movement and function and sleep-disordered breathing. To learn more about sleep-disordered breathing, call the office or schedule a consultation online today. Virtual visits are also available.
Sleep-disordered breathing is a general term for conditions that affect breathing during sleep. It includes conditions that decrease or obstruct airflow (hypopnea) and conditions in which breathing stops (apnea).
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a type of sleep-disordered breathing that occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax, blocking airflow.
Sleep-disordered breathing may occur in people with open-mouth breathing, which changes the tongue's resting posture. Normally, the tip of your tongue rests at the top of your palate. When you open mouth breathe, the tongue thrusts forward, hitting the teeth or protruding through the teeth.
Pressure from the tongue changes the shape of the mouth and the alignment of the teeth. The change in tongue position also creates postural imbalances in the orofacial muscles and the function necessary for correct swallowing.
The structural abnormalities in the mouth combined with postural imbalances may affect breathing while you sleep.
Loud snoring is the most common symptom of sleep-disordered breathing. Snoring occurs when the muscles in your mouth, tongue, and throat relax, partially block the flow of air, and create a vibrating sound.
Other symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing include:
Sleep-disordered breathing affects people of all ages, including children. Strategies for Success treats many children with OSA who also have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The team at Strategies for Success conducts a comprehensive evaluation when you come in with concerns about sleep-disordered breathing. They review your symptoms and medical history and examine the mouth and tongue. They also observe swallowing to assess the coordination of the muscles.
Strategies for Success individualizes care for its patients with sleep-disordered breathing. However, the team utilizes myofunctional therapy to strengthen the orofacial muscles, retrain swallowing, and restore the tongue back to its normal resting posture.
Myofunctional therapy requires active participation. Your therapist at Strategies for Success may give you or your child exercises to do every day and schedule follow-up visits for one-on-one therapy sessions. Treatment may take 16-24 weeks.
For help with sleep-disordered breathing, call Strategies for Success or schedule an appointment online today.