Do you Have Snoring or Sleep Apnea?
Snoring and sleep apnea are serious conditions. When left untreated they can cause high blood pressure, stroke, irregular heart beats, and even heart attacks. More than 18 million adults in America have sleep apnea and at least 40% of adults over 40 have snoring issues. Sleep apnea, the more serious of the two conditions, occurs when breathing repeatedly stops and starts during the night. Despite the short and long-term issues caused by snoring and sleep apnea, the disorders are often left untreated by many adults. In some instances, those who suffer from the conditions don’t even realize they are affected by them. And, in other cases, patients don’t recognize the harmful short and long-term effects of snoring and sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
- Excessive Day Time Sleepiness (EDS)
- Poor Concentration
- Morning Headaches
- Weight Gain
- Sexual Dysfunction
Did you Know Your Dentist Can Treat Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Most physicians recommend treating sleep apnea with a CPAP machine. However, many patients find a CPAP device intrusive and uncomfortable, and therefore do not regularly use them. More recently dentists have been using oral appliances to treat sleep apnea. The appliance, similar to a nightguard, is designed to gently pull the lower jaw forward, opening patients’ airway and stopping both snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
Prior to any treatment, patients must undergo a sleep examination. In some cases, a sleep study may be recommended. The sleep study may be completed at home with a special device that monitors airway and breathing during sleep or in a sleep lab. Once the study is concluded, a physician will read the results and make a diagnosis.