Do I have Sleep Apnea?
Snoring may be an indication of a more serious medical problem called obstructive sleep apnea.
Typically, someone with obstructive sleep apnea will snore heavily and then stop breathing. The body tries to breathe, but the air is unable to get through due to an obstruction of the airway stemming from a collapse of muscles and tissues near the throat. The person will then gasp and partially wake up in order to breathe.
The resulting repeated lack of oxygen to the brain puts extra strain on the heart, increasing blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, as well as other health problems.
Doctors estimate that 9.1% of men and 4% of women have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone regardless of age or weight, although it does occur more often in men who are overweight and over 40. The risk of sleep apnea also increases in direct relation to alcohol consumption and smoking. Often, the person with sleep apnea is totally unaware of the problem and may deny the fact that he/she even snores.
SLEEP APNEA SYMPTOMS
Choking/Gasping during sleep
Excessive daytime sleepiness
Awakening feeling unrested in the morning
Irritability, depression, or anxiety
Erectile dysfunction, low libido or sex drive
Difficulty concentrating and retaining information
SLEEP APNEA HEALTH CONSEQUENCES
Untreated obstructive sleep apnea is associated with many life-threatening diseases. People with untreated sleep apnea are 3 times more likely to have heart disease than those not afflicted. They also face a risk of stroke that is 4 times greater than non-sufferers.
It is estimated that over 40,000 people in America die each year from complications of sleep apnea (cardiovascular problems in some way connected to sleep apnea). That is over 100 deaths every single day, just in the United States alone.
TAKING A SLEEP STUDY
A sleep study measures how much and how well you sleep, and it is required in order to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.
A polysomnogram (PSG) is an in-lab sleep study performed overnight in a sleep center.
A home sleep test (HST) is a portable sleep study performed in the comfort of your home.
Your sleep study results will include all kinds of information about how you sleep, including whether you have obstructive sleep apnea and how severe it is if you do. Obstructive sleep apnea is classified as mild, moderate or severe based on the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI).
Neither snoring nor sleep apnea should be taken lightly, as your health is at stake. If you believe that you or your loved one may have sleep apnea, contact us today and let us help you! We can find out if a custom made oral appliance will help you on your path to a better night’s sleep.