Sleep apnea affects over 18 million people in the U.S. and most people are unaware of they have this serious condition because it occurs while they are asleep.
This disorder is characterized by interruptions in breathing during sleep. Breathing can pause for a few seconds to several minutes and can occur several times per night, depriving the body of oxygen.
This most often occurs because the soft tissue in the back of the throat partially or completely collapses causing a blockage of the airway. Since sleep is interrupted many times, those affected may experience fatigue during the day, as well as depression and memory loss.
Untreated sleep apnea can result in a number of health conditions such as heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, irregular heartbeat and obesity. In some instances sleep apnea can be life threatening.
Did you know…
that you can reduce your chances of snoring or developing apnea by changing a few simple habits? According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, one of the most effective ways of alleviating apnea and snoring is by losing weight. The AAOMA suggests that just 10 pounds can be enough weight loss to help open up the airways and reduce apnea symptoms. Other ways of preventing the condition include changing your sleep position, avoiding tobacco products, and maintaining regular sleeping habits.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some potential symptoms of sleep apnea?
- Irregular breathing during sleep
- Clenching and/or grinding
- Morning headaches
- Lack of energy
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Frequent nocturnal urination
- A male with a neck circumference greater than 17 inches
- A female with a neck circumference greater than 16 inches
- Nighttime gasping, choking or coughing
- Acid Reflux
- Body mass index of 28 or greater
- High blood pressure
- Over 50 years old
- Family History
Do I need treatment for sleep apnea?
If you have some of the symptoms listed above you may have sleep apnea. You can contact our office to schedule a consult with Dr. Appelbaum to undergo a screening process. After the doctor’s assessment he may refer you to a pulmonologist to have a sleep study to positively determine if you have this condition and to determine the severity and type of apnea that you have. There are varying treatment options available for sleep apnea. Dr. Appelbaum, along with the pulmonologist will determine which treatment is most beneficial for you.
Untreated sleep apnea is never a good option since it has been linked to serious health complications and can be life threatening.
What should I expect during Riverside treatment for sleep apnea or snoring?
Treatment for sleep apnea in our Riverside practice depends on the severity of the condition and whether you are experiencing apnea or simple snoring. Some of the most common treatments include behavioral modifications, oral sleep appliances, continuous positive airway pressure devices(CPAP), and in some cases surgery. Dr. Appelbaum can discuss what option he feels would be best for you and ways that you can contribute to the management of your condition.
Contact your Riverside dentist immediately to discuss your options for treating this serious condition.