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Sleep Apnea

A "Not-So-Silent" Sleep Disorder

Do you find yourself falling asleep driving or sitting in the movie theater? Are you irritable, lack energy at work, job performance is depleted, and you feel somewhat depressed. You may be suffering from Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea affects billions of people all over the globe with a large percentage of the group not even aware that they are suffering from the disorder.

Sleep Apnea affects billions of people all over the globe with a large percentage of the group not even aware that they are suffering from the disorder.

Did you know…

That some people are not even aware that they are suffering from the disorder? Unless you have a bed partner who has witnessed your episodes it could go undetected as the interrupted breathing only happens during sleep. If you suspect you are suffering from Sleep Apnea, tell your Dr. who can refer you to a sleep specialist for a sleep study. 

Adverse Effects of Sleep Apnea

Aside from snoring, and getting hit on the head with a pillow when we do so, sleep apnea does present some health risks. Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation can lead to serious cardiovascular problems. Additionally, these individuals suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and development of an enlarged neck.

Risk Factors

  • Being male
  • Being overweight
  • Being over age 40
  • Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
  • Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea
  • Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD
  • Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems
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Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, and not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. So how do you tell the difference between normal snoring and a more serious case of sleep apnea?

The biggest telltale sign is how you feel during the day. Normal snoring doesn’t interfere with the quality of your sleep as much as sleep apnea does, so you’re less likely to suffer from extreme fatigue and sleepiness during the day.

Record yourself sleeping or ask your sleep partner to keep track of your snoring, noting how loud and frequent it is, and if you’re gasping, choking, or making other unusual sounds. Even if you don’t have sleep apnea, a snoring problem can get in the way of your bed partner’s rest and affect your own sleep quality and health.

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

There are several treatment options available. The most successful treatment for OSA is CPAP. It is the No. 1 treatment prescribed by the medical community. CPAP is highly successful when it can be used. The big problem with the CPAP are the numerous difficulties patients have using it. The CPAP is not tolerated by approximately 60%, some estimate up to 83% of users. With an inability to tolerate the CPAP, these patients find themselves at greater risk in regard to their health and longevity.

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With the high rejection rate of the CPAP, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine designated dental sleep oral appliances as the No. 1 nonsurgical alternative for the CPAP intolerant, not to mention not having to deal with face masks and hoses.

Dr. Wang and his team at Centerport Dental are trained to provide an oral appliance that provides an improved jaw position to address snoring and sleep apnea. If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, make an appointment with us today to discuss your options.