OSA, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea, is a condition that you or someone you know may be suffering from.
However, your OSA, or your friends Obstructive Sleep Apnea may go unnoticed, especially if you or your friend sleeps alone. Only about 200,000 cases are diagnosed in the United States each year.
According to Dr. Jack Ringer, a licensed provider of oral appliance therapy for OSA and past President and Accredited Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, sleep apnea is something that affects millions of people all over the planet.
• Daytime Fatigue
• Heart Attacks
• High Blood Pressure
• Type 2 Diabetes
• Metabolic Syndrome
• Complications with Surgery and Medication
• Liver Problems
• Sleep Deprived Partners
• Heart Attacks
• Irregular Heart Beats
• ADHD Gets Worse
According to Dr. Ringer, people who suffer from OSA have a larger risk of cardiac death. One study from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reports that 142 patients suffering from sleep apnea died from sudden cardiac death.
Severe OSA can cause brain damage. However, it is reversible. Although three months of therapy using CPAP therapy or oral appliance therapy only showed minor improvements to damaged brain cells, a complete reversal of abnormalities was detected 12 months later.
While everyone is susceptible to OSA, even thin people and children, some factors could put you in the high-risk category for OSA.
• Being overweight
• Large tonsils or adenoids
• Narrow airway
• High blood pressure
• Nasal congestion
• Being male
• Family history of OSA
• Sleep during the day
• Snore loudly, although not everyone who snores has OSA
• Wake up gasping or choking
• Wake up with a sore throat or dry mouth
• Have breathing cessation episodes observed by another person
• Suffer from morning headaches
• Have problems with concentration
• Have high blood pressure
• Are depressed
• Have mood swings
• Sweat at night
• Experience a decrease in libido
If the muscles relax at the back of your throat, it makes it difficult to breathe normally. The muscles that support your soft palate can relax closing your airways when you breathe in causing inadequate air supply for as long as 20 seconds. This can lower your blood oxygen levels leading to a buildup of dangerous carbon dioxide.
When your brain senses that you are not breathing normally, it will arouse you so that you can breathe normally. The small arousal is so brief that many suffers are not even aware of it. If you wake with a shortness of breath that corrects on its own, you could have OSA. This pattern can occur as many as 30 times every hour, even more, all through the night. Obstructive sleep apnea impairs your sleep quality leaving you feeling tired during your waking hours. However, some people who suffer think they slept through the night.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about a sleep study.
A sleep study can determine if you are suffering from OSA. If you have been diagnosed, call or click and schedule an appointment for oral appliance therapy.