DO YOU SNORE ON A REGULAR BASIS?
DOES YOUR SNORING CAUSE YOU OR YOUR PARTNER TO WAKE UP?
DO YOU WAKE UP GASPING FOR AIR?
DO YOU EXPERIENCE EXCESSIVE DAYTIME SLEEPINESS?
If you answered YES to any or all of these questions you may be suffering from sleep apnea without even knowing it. Here are some facts about sleep apnea:
• An estimated 30 million – or one in eight – Americans snore
• More Than 40% of adults over 40 snore
• Individuals who snore have a high likelihood of having (or developing) OSA (obstructive sleep apnea)
• Approximately 20 million Americas suffer from sleep apnea.
• Some 28 percent of men over the age of 65 suffer from sleep apnea
• Up to 50 % of sleep apnea patients have high blood pressure
• Risk for heart attack and stroke also may increase among those who have sleep apnea.
• Nearly 60 percent of Americans suffer from daytime sleepiness, a side effect of sleep apnea.
• Each year, sleep disorders add an estimated $15.9 billion to the national healthcare bill.
While many people think snoring is just a nuisance that keeps your partner from sleeping, it can be related to serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and depression. Those who suffer from sleep apnea are also 10% more likely to be in a car crash. Sleep apnea occurs, obviously, while you sleep, but it affects your daily life as well. You cannot focus as well during the day, you don’t wake up feeling refreshed, and you lack energy. Take a look at this full list of symptoms on the following page to see if you may be suffering from sleep apnea.
• Frequent cessation of breathing (apnea) during sleep
• Choking, gasping, or gagging during sleep to get air into the lungs
• Loud snoring
• Waking up sweating during the night
• Feeling unrefreshed in the morning after a night’s sleep
• Headaches upon awakening
• Daytime sleepiness
• Rapid weight gain
• Memory loss and learning difficulties
• Short attention span
• GERD – Acid reflux
• Poor Judgment
• Personality changes
If you have a lot of these symptoms, or even just some, you may be suffering from OSA. There is no need to worry though, because treatment is available. The most effective and time-tested treatment for OSA is the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. The muscles in your airway naturally relax during sleep, which can restrict the airway. The CPAP machine keeps a constant stream of air going through the airway to keep it open and free. The machine requires users to sleep with a mask on so that the air can be delivered to the airway. Some people might have intolerance for the CPAP machine, so an oral appliance can be a great alternative.
If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, you do not have to use this apparatus to combat it. Your dentist can provide you with a custom made oral appliance to prevent snoring. This oral appliance is custom fitted to your mouth for both comfort and effectiveness. It works by keeping the lower jaw, tongue, and uvula in a certain position to prevent your airway from constricting while you sleep. This is a great advancement in treatment because the level of discomfort is minimal to non-existent, and you do not have to undergo dangerous surgery or use a CPAP machine.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or your sleep partner is noticing a change in your sleep behavior that may suggest either type of sleep apnea, contact us today for a full screening. There are many effective treatment options available to get you on the right track to a good night’s sleep again.