October 21, 2017
Do you go about your days in a fog, chronically fatigued, moody, and all out of sorts? Do you snore at night or suffer from disrupted sleep?
You may be a sleep apnea zombie.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which the sufferer literally stops breathing during sleep. This may happen dozens of time per hour and hundreds of times each night. The result is poor, frequently interrupted sleep.
There are two kinds of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), by far the most common, occurs when a physical obstruction (typically soft tissue from the back of the throat) causes a blockage while you’re lying down. It’s estimated that 1 in 5 adults has mild OSA, and 1 in 15 has moderate to severe OSA. But as common and potentially dangerous as sleep apnea is, it is shockingly underdiagnosed. As many as 80% of people with the condition do not even know they have it.
When you don’t sleep well, you will be tired and sluggish during the day. People with sleep apnea are six times more likely than other people to die in a car accident. Sleep apnea is also associated with a number of serious systemic diseases including high blood pressure, hypertension, and stroke.
And remember: the loud snoring and restless sleep of sleep apnea affects other people in your household. Bed partners of people with OSA lose up to an hour of sleep each night!
We know it’s almost Halloween, but we don’t want you to be a zombie. At least this kind. (We do, however, encourage you to dress up as a zombie on the 31st!)
To book a consultation at Davenport Dental Group and learn about our sleep apnea solutions, reach out to either one of our convenient Laredo, TX offices. Call Junction Drive at 956-242-6745 or Winfield at 956-517-2695.
What Are the Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea?
Anyone can have sleep apnea — even children! But certain factors make some people more likely to have the condition than others.
- People who are overweight or obese are four times more likely than other people to have sleep apnea, probably due to fat deposits around the throat causing an obstruction.
- Men are twice as likely as women to have sleep apnea. However, women’s risk appears to go up after menopause.
- The older you are, the more likely you are to have sleep apnea.
- Do you have a family history of sleep apnea? It may have a genetic component.
- If you have a thick neck, you may have a thinner airway and an increased risk of sleep apnea.
- Alcohol and certain drugs may relax the throat muscles and cause an obstruction.
- Smokers are three times more likely than nonsmokers to have OSA.
- Especially in children, enlarged tonsils or adenoids may lead to obstructive sleep apnea.
What Are OSA Symptoms?
If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have obstructive sleep apnea.
- You snore loudly. If you’re not sure, ask your partner.
- You experience frequent, abrupt awakenings, which may be accompanied by shortness of breath.
- You stop breathing at night (as witnessed by another person).
- You often have a headache, dry mouth, or sore throat when you wake up in the morning.
- You suffer from insomnia.
- You are chronically tired during the day.
- You have difficulty focusing or paying attention.
- You are moody or irritable during the day.
How Can We Help Your Sleep Apnea?
The traditional treatment for sleep apnea is a device called a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. CPAP treatment has been enormously effective for many people, but others can’t get used to the mask or the feeling of having air forced into their lungs. Plus, the machine is unwieldy and not travel-friendly.
At Davenport Dental Group, we can create a simple oral device that’s custom-made to fit your jaw and that can keep you breathing smoothly and continuously throughout the night. Because it’s made just for you, your device will be comfortable to wear. Plus it’s small and totally portable, making it great for travel too. The mouthguard-like device keeps the airway open by adjusting the jaw position just a bit. It’s also an effective treatment for snoring!
To book a sleep apnea consultation at Davenport Dental Group, or to schedule an appointment for any of our dental services, fill out our convenient online contact form. You may also call either one of our Laredo, TX offices directly. To reach Junction Drive call 956-242-6745. To get in touch with Winfield call 956-517-2695.