What you don't know about Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is Not Just Snoring...

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is wide spread, affecting an estimated 18 million Americans. Yet there is a lot of misinformation about the condition, leaving many people with questions about OSA.

The simple math is; not everybody who snores has Sleep Apnea BUT...everybody with Sleep Apnea snores! And, while snoring may lead to a diagnosis of Sleep Apnea, it is possible for some that your snoring has no relation to Sleep Apnea. Conversely, just because you don't snore, it doesn't mean that you don’t have Sleep Apnea. A clear sign, however, is snoring that is loud or results in choking or gasping! If your snoring has you waking suddenly, struggling for air, you should seek care immediately! If you have questions, ask your doctor about getting tested - home sleep studies like those offered by Endeavor Health are easy, unobtrusive and, best of all...performed in the comfort of your own home! 

Women Can Have It Too

Many men are diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, so much so that Sleep Apnea is often thought of as a “man’s disease”. But, many women also suffer with Sleep Apnea! Unfortunately, many women dismiss their symptoms of being tired as a result of being busy with kids, works, etc. Because women are less likely to snore and don’t experience the same symptoms as men, the condition is more likely to go undiagnosed. Women with OSA are more prone to experience insomnia, depression and fatigue. 

Cumbersome CPAP Machines are not your only options

For those who are newly diagnosed, or those currently struggling with a CPAP machine, Sleep Apnea can now be treated with a medically approved oral appliance from your dentist. This appliance is likened to an Invisalign orthodontic device and is reimbursable through your medical insurance company! The first step is to visit your doctor or qualified dentist to undergo a home sleep study!

You Don’t Have To Be Overweight

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is often viewed as synonymous with an above average BMI. While a majority of people diagnosed have been reported as overweight, a significant number of those are of average weight. Sleep Apnea can affect anyone in any shape or size. Sometimes genetics can play a role. Our esophageal or throat construction is the root cause of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and in the same way you may look like your parent, you may also inherit a similar facial constitution making you more prone to have OSA. 

Alcohol Does Not Make You Sleep Better

Many people enjoy a night cap before bed, to "help them fall asleep". However, clinical studies have shown that alcohol is detrimental to sleep. When consumed, alcohol acts as a depressant and can make you drowsy, but also can inhibit REM sleep, which is the most important, restorative stage of sleep. What’s worse, alcohol tends to relax the muscles, including the soft pallet which can mean more apneic events. 

Conclusion

Sleep is vital to a healthy life, if you or a loved one suspects they might have Sleep Apnea, take it seriously and talk to a doctor or qualified dentist about a sleep study. If you have question about sleep apnea or are a provider looking for information how you can treat your patients... #weshouldtalk