August 15, 2016
Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night? Maybe you’ve been told you snore loud enough to wake the dead. Or maybe you wake up with headaches and constantly feel tired throughout the day.
All of these things are signs of sleep apnea, an extremely serious condition that can be treated at our Fairfax dental office. There are millions of Americans struggling with sleep apnea, and a good portion of those Americans are not aware they even have a problem. Today I want to share some facts about sleep apnea that will change your perspective about the disease. Please take the next five minutes and read on.
1. ) Sleep apnea is about more than snoring. Simple snoring is simple snoring. That’s easy enough to remember. I write that because while snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, it’s not the only sign. In fact, many patients with sleep apnea do not snore at all. Many patients wake up with a headaches and often feel irritable, depressed, or tired throughout the day.
2.) Sleep apnea doesn’t just affect men. While many people assume only men get sleep apnea, women and children have sleep apnea as well. Men are more likely to have sleep apnea than women, but there are more important factors than gender, including people who are overweight; people who have a family history of sleep apnea; people with high blood pressure; people who are middle age; and people who have larger neck sizes (17 inches or larger for men and 16 inches or larger for women).
3.) Sleep apnea can be deadly. Most patients report feeling tired or tell us how they drive their bed partners crazy with their snoring, but it’s true that sleep apnea can be deadly. Former NFL great Reggie White died sleep apnea complications, but we’ve read reports where people with sleep apnea have literally fallen asleep at the wheel. The effects are usually not that sudden, and the sleep condition has been connected to high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.
4.) 1 in 5 adults struggle with a mild form of sleep apnea. There are about 18 million Americans who have some form of sleep apnea. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, but all forms of sleep apnea are dangerous. The point is that there are potentially millions of Americans who are living with untreated sleep apnea conditions.
5.) You don’t always need a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea. For years the most common method of treating sleep apnea was a CPAP machine. A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine constantly pushes air into the throat and airways. Patients who use a CPAP machine wear a mask which is connected to a machine. It’s no surprise that many patients find this treatment uncomfortable. Instead of a CPAP machine, we can treat your sleep apnea with a comfortable appliance. This appliance fits over your lower teeth and moves the lower forward. With the jaw positioned forward, your airways remain open.
These five facts above will help you understand more about the dangers of sleep apnea. If you have signs of sleep apnea, call our office today at 703-552-2530 to schedule a consultation.