Are You Getting A Goodnight’s Rest?
- Approximately 40% of adults over 40 have snoring issues
- Snoring and Sleep Apnea worsens with age, increasing your risk of heart disease and diabetes
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a potentially serious disorder, in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
The potential complications of untreated sleep apnea include: high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, daytime sleepiness, diabetes, weight gain, impotency, and increased mortality. Snoring and mild to moderate Sleep Apnea can often be treated with an oral appliance.
While physicians often recommend a C-PAP (a breathing machine with a mask), many patients find an oral appliance less intrusive and more comfortable.
The oral appliance consists of plastic mouthpieces that fit over the teeth and move the bottom jaw forward. This creates a larger airway, which increases airflow. It is effective for about 85% of patients with mild to moderate Sleep Apnea and snoring. Sleep appliances are often covered by medical insurance if accompanied by a sleep study and physician’s prescription.
The symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Loud or disruptive snoring
- Awaking with choking or gasping for air
- Frequent urination disrupting sleep
- Grogginess, morning headaches
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
There are two primary forms of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, and central sleep apnea. It is also possible to have a combination of the two.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a mechanical condition. It occurs when the throat becomes blocked by tissue during sleep. As the airway closes, the brain sends signals to wake the body, but the person never fully wakes up from their sleep. They wake up just enough to restart respiration, only for the blockage to recur as soon as the muscles around the throat relax again. People may develop obstructive sleep apnea due to having a large neck circumference, being obese, taking medication to help them sleep, or other structural factors.
Central sleep apnea is more of a response issue. During sleep, the brain's signaling to the muscles that control respiration becomes dysregulated. Not receiving adequate signals, breathing pauses up to several dozen times a night.
How Do I Know for Sure If I Have Sleep Apnea?
There are several ways to assess the underlying cause of loud snoring and other symptoms. In fact, when diagnosing sleep apnea, a thorough review of your symptoms can be very telling. Beyond that, it is necessary to undergo a formal sleep study to accurately diagnose your condition.
How Long Does a Sleep Study Take?
Your home sleep study should take just one night. You do not have to alter anything about your normal daily and nightly routine to complete your test. In fact, we prefer that you don't. This way, we are given insight into how your sleep apnea presents in your unaltered environment. Before you go to sleep, you will simply apply the monitors that are included in your test kit. These may include a breathing sensor that sits at the opening of your nostrils and is held in place by a strap around your ears. You may also wear a pulse oximeter on your finger or a special belt that measures how much effort goes into your breathing.
If a home sleep study is recommended, Dr. Rawdin will explain it in detail so you know exactly how to apply the monitors correctly.
What Negative Effects can Sleep Apnea Cause?
Living with untreated sleep apnea does much more than leave you sleep-deprived and sleepy during the day. This condition accumulates more risks the longer it continues. With sleep apnea, you are more likely to experience memory difficulties and mood disorders like anxiety and depression.
You may struggle with weight due to the disruption to hunger and satiation hormones that are produced when you sleep. As a result of grogginess, you may be more accident prone. Your relationships or job may suffer. Physically, in addition to being more at risk for automobile and other accidents, your health will also be impacted by sleep apnea.
Studies indicate that, regardless of weight, people with sleep apnea have higher instances of diabetes and hypertension.
Sleep Brochure Digital File
What to do if you have Sleep Apnea Symptoms
If you have any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor or dentist. A dentist specially trained to treat sleep disorders, can facilitate in helping you get the right treatment.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates there are over 50 million Americans who suffer from Sleep Apnea and don’t even know it. Left untreated, it can lead to serious health issues. Ask us today about getting screened.
Unlike in the past, where patients had to spend the night at a sleep testing center, newer tests can be done in your own home with a small electronic device. Our sleep coordinator can arrange for the home test and help coordinate medical insurance benefits. Ask us today about getting screened to see if you may have a sleep disordered breathing problem.
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