DO YOU SNORE?
Do you or someone you know snore? Just about everyone does occasionally - even a baby or pet may snore. However, many times snoring can be a sign for a much bigger health problem.
Snoring can affect the quantity and quality of your sleep. Consequently, inadequate sleep can lead to daytime fatigue, irritability, weight gain, memory loss, acid reflux, headaches, and other very serious health ramifications. In addition, if your snoring is so loud that your bed partner can't sleep, both of you are not achieving the proper sleep and rest at night.
If you snore regularly and experience any of the symptoms above, you may have sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea can wreak havoc on your overall health.
WHAT EXACTLY IS SLEEP APNEA?
According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep apnea is defined as a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night's sleep. There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when an airway collapses; and central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn't sent proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
A person with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may experience shallow breathing and possible pauses in breath, which may look disturbing. The breathing interruptions can last anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes per breathing episode. These disturbances cause an individual to attain restless sleep and consequently feel extremely fatigued during the day.
SIGNS OF OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA
- Daytime Sleepiness
- Morning Headaches
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Experienced Gasping
- Energy Loss
- High Blood Pressure
- Memory Loss
- Grinding Teeth at Night
- Previous Heart Attack or Stoke
WHY IS SLEEP APNEA DANGEROUS?
Untreated OSA increases the chances of heart attack, stroke, Type II Diabetes and even sudden death. Recent reports now indicate a relationship between untreated OSA and cancer, dementia, obesity, impotence, reflux disease and congestive heart failure. More that 20% of the U.S. population is estimated to be affected by sleep apnea and is increasing as our obesity rates increase. Even more alarming is that nearly 90% of the population remains undiagnosed.
Snoring is no laughing matter. Since snoring may be an indicator for sleep apnea, it should be taken seriously at any age. Testing and treatment is necessary to avoid serious complications.
SERIOUS RISKS TO YOUR HEALTH
- Untreated OSA can be a contributing risk factor in high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and depression.
- There is a five times greater risk of dying from cancer when you have untreated OSA.
- 83% of people who suffer from high blood pressure, (despite taking 3 or more drugs), also have sleep apnea.
- Almost 70% of people who have suffered a stroke have sleep apnea.
- A person with untreated OSA is seven times more likely to have a car accident.
- 60-65% of diabetic patients have obstructive sleep apnea.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
GET TESTED! Our office has the education and experience to offer comprehensive sleep screening and airway evaluation, which is offered as a complimentary service to all patients . If a sleep study is recommended based on the results, we have the equipment to provide a home sleep study or help you get scheduled for an overnight study in a sleep lab. Once a Board Certified sleep physician interprets the results, we can help you obtain proper treatment. Treatment options can range from CPAP therapy (nasal continuous positive airway pressure), a mandibular advancement splint, referral to an ENT, weight loss or or behavioral therapy.