Have you ever been woken up by the snoring of someone you share the bed with? How about being the one who’s getting poked or jabbed with orders to “roll over!” Whether you’re the snorer or the snoree things aren’t great when someone is making noise at night!
Snoring is common – we all do it at some point in our lives. But did you know it could indicate a serious condition called sleep apnea? You may have heard of this dangerous airway-blocking disorder before, but do you know the specifics? A lot of people assume they know sleep apnea but the facts can truly be surprising!
Sleep Apnea: The Basics
When your body relaxes at night all the soft tissues of your neck do as well. This can lead to a partial blockage of your airway, which results in snoring. If that blockage becomes complete your breathing gets interrupted, which is called an apnea. The complications from sleep apnea are serious, and over time can include a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, and cardiovascular conditions that only get worse the longer you go untreated.
But what are some of the less-known facts about sleep apnea? There are plenty of things you might think you know about it but they may not be true!
Up To 80 Percent Of Cases May Go Undiagnosed
We commonly think of sleep apnea as a disease that doesn’t affect too many people. In reality it’s far more common than you think, potentially being the cause of poor sleep in up to 9 percent of women and 24 percent of men!
If you have disturbed sleep you could attribute it to any number of conditions aside from sleep apnea, so for many patients it goes untreated for a very long time. One of the scary things about sleep apnea is that you’ll never eliminate it – the longer you suffer from the symptoms the worse the complications will become. You could jeopardize your health without even knowing or seeking treatment. The worst part? It’s simple to treat symptoms and prevent the worsening effects.
People Seeking Treatment Are Often Misdiagnosed
For every person that gets a diagnosis of sleep apnea there are plenty more that have their condition attributed to something else entirely. Many patients go to their doctor seeking treatment for the side effects sleep apnea has on their day-to-day lives, not their sleep. Many patients suffer from a low mood, constant fatigue, and trouble concentrating. These symptoms are also part of depression and other mood disorders, leading many patients to be diagnosed incorrectly.
The only way to truly identify sleep apnea is with a sleep study. It’s hard to know when to prescribe one because the daytime symptoms of sleep apnea are so different than the ones you experience at night!
The Patients Don’t All Fit One Type
For a lot of people, sleep apnea is a disease that only affects the overweight and sedentary. There’s no way they could be suffering from it if they aren’t that kind of person! The truth is that any kind of body can suffer from sleep apnea. While overweight people, drinkers, smokers, and those who sleep on their backs are more likely to suffer from it they aren’t the only ones.
As you age the tissues in your body loosen and your risks for sleep apnea increase. Many people don’t know it, but women who are post-menopausal are actually at just as great a risk of sleep apnea as men!
Let Us Help You Sleep Better
If you’ve been told you’re a loud, constant snorer or you suffer from any other symptoms of sleep apnea we can help. It might surprise you to learn that the easiest way to treat sleep apnea is with a trip to the dentist, and we’d love to help at Edgewood Dental Care.
If you’ve had a sleep study performed and have been diagnosed with sleep apnea your doctor may have recommended CPAP treatment. CPAP is effective at eliminating sleep apnea symptoms, but who wants to sleep with a mask strapped to their face? Many patients do adapt to CPAP treatment but there is an easier way: oral appliances.
We use a variety of appliances at our office, each which help manage sleep apnea in a different way. We’re sure we have the solution you need to sleep comfortably and easily!
Don’t Wait: Treatment Is Essential!
Sleep apnea is something you’ll be living with for the rest of your life, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer! We want to help you sleep better and live happier – make a decision to get better sleep and call us today!
You can reach our Edgewood dentist office at 814-619-0690 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We’ll see you soon!