Sleep Apnea/Snoring

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that is far more common than generally understood. First described in 1965, sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. It is clinically defined as any cessation of breath lasting 10 or more seconds.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

OSA occurs when soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses thus closing the airway causing the sleeper to temporarily stop breathing. These frequent interruptions may occur up to 30 times or more an hour and cause breath cessations lasting anywhere from 10 seconds to 3 minutes

So Why Is Sleep Apnea Bad?

Every time breathing stops, the oxygen level in the blood falls. Eventually, the brain notices the drop and must arouse the body to begin breathing again. Consequently, REM sleep (the deep, restorative sleep cycle) is interrupted, putting additional strain on the heart and lungs to “catch up.” Not only do these apneas reduce the amount of quality, reparative sleep someone receives it reduces the amount of oxygen supplied to the brain. This is often times the cause of early morning headaches and can overall lead to excessive daytime drowsiness.

Could You Have Sleep Apnea? Symptoms May Include:

  • Loud, excessive snoring
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (falling asleep at inappropriate times)
  • High blood pressure
  • Memory Problems
  • Morning headaches
  • Feeling of depression
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux (heartburn)
  • Impotence
  • Nocturia (frequent night time urination)
  • Weight gain
  • Limited attention
  • Lethargy
  • Poor judgement
  • Personality issues
  • Hyperactivity (especially in children)

Take THE SLEEP TEST at, or call for a free evaluation.

Sleep Apnea Screening Test

If you think you, or a loved one is suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, start with a Sleep Apnea Screening Test. It is a simple yet accurate way to learn about Sleep Apnea and assess your risk for the disease. IF you find yourself to be at risk, we encourage you to consult with Dr. Hawkins. An at home sleep study, or a referral for a laboratory sleep study will be recommended based on your severity.

Dr. Robert J. Thompson (Office) 740-453-0680

Dr. Thomas Rojewski (Office) 740-454-0158

Dr. Roger Balogh (Office) 740-452-4539

Sleep Laboratory Sleep Study

A Sleep Test , or Ploysomnogram, is used to help diagnose sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. This study takes place in a sleep lab during a person’s normal sleeping hours. A Sleep Test uses various instruments to gather information about a person’s sleep stages, body position, and physiological conditions such as brain wave activity, eye movement, muscle movement, and the electrical activity of the heart. A Sleep Test will result in a proper diagnosis and recommended treatment.

Genesis Sleep Disorders Center (740) 454-4725

2951 Maple Avenue Zanesville, OH 43701

CPAP Is NOT The Only Answer!

For decades the only therapy available for people diagnosed with sleep apnea was a continuous positive airway pressure machine, known as a CPAP. These are highly effective, but also difficult for some to use on a regular basis. 50% of patients that are prescribed a CPAP will require continual use.

An Oral Appliance Can Be Your Answer To Sleep Apnea/Snoring.

In 2006, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine said that custom-made, mandibular repositioning devices (oral appliances) are a first line of treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea or when CPAP has failed.

If you, or someone you know, has tried a CPAP and was unable to be compliant with it, please let us know.

Mandibular Repositioning Dental Appliances (MRA)

MRA’s are oral appliances that treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. They are small plastic devices, worn in the mouth, similar to orthodontic retainers or sports mouth-guards. MRA’s are worn during sleep to prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat so that the airway remains open during sleep. The appliances promote adequate air intake and help to provide normal sleep in people who snore.

MRA’s work in several ways:

  • By repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula
  • By stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue
  • By increasing the muscle tone of the tongue

Health Insurance Coverage?

As part of the process your health insurance coverage will be verified. Insurance coverage of a Mandibular Repositioning Dental Appliance is dependent on your diagnosis, policy coverage, deductible, and co-pay. As a courtesy to you, we will gladly submit your claim for your MRA to your medical insurance.