According to Dr. Jack Ringer, an Accredited Fellow with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, past president of the AACD and a preferred oral appliance therapy provider, OSA is a condition that causes the back of the throat to relax while sleeping. When the throat is relaxed, the person is unable to breathe waking up gasping for breath sometimes 30 times an hour.
Unfortunately, people who suffer are rarely aware that they have been unable to breathe and go right back to sleep. OSA suffers with partners are usually made aware of the condition.
If you have sleep apnea, you may snore, although not all snorers are OSA sufferers. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you may also:
While researchers can’t pinpoint a specific cause for sleep apnea, there are people who have a higher risk. Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea include:
According to Dr. Ringer, even people who carry a few extra pounds can be more prone to OSA as fat deposits around upper airways make it harder to breathe. People who are obese are nearly always diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.
People with a large neck circumference often have a smaller airway as well, especially if the person suffering still has tonsils and adenoids. This is especially true in children with OSA.
While women are at risk for OSA after menopause and if they are overweight, men are still twice as likely to suffer.
There is no direct link but being older significantly increases the risk of OSA.
If you have family members with obstructive sleep apnea, your risk may be increased.
Both tobacco and alcohol contribute to OSA, but so do certain medications as these substances relax the throat muscles making it impossible to breathe. Smoking also increases fluid retention and inflammation in the breathing passageway.
People who have a tough time breathing through the nose make be more apt to develop OSA whether the breathing problems come from allergies, an injury or are anatomically related.
If you suffer from sleep apnea symptoms, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with your doctor who can refer you to a sleep specialist. If left untreated sleep apnea can cause heart issues and even result in death.
For more information regarding oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea, call and schedule a no obligation consultation with preferred oral appliance therapy specialist Dr. Jack Ringer. You really will sleep better.