Top Four Facts About Sleep Apnea

  • Posted on: Feb 21 2015

Sleep. It’s one of the most important parts of our days. We all need it. We rarely get enough of it. And too many of us are continually sleep-deprived. Sleep plays an essential role in supporting our physical health, increasing longevity, and providing emotional wellbeing. Everyone needs a good night’s sleep.

Yet millions of Americans suffer from a disorder that prevents coveted, restful sleep. Millions suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that affects breathing and disrupts sleep. There are different types of treatments for sleep apnea that range from an airway apparatus to lifestyle changes to sleeping alterations. One effective solution includes wearing a special oral appliance for the mouth called a SomnoDent MAS.

We can help with that but before we do, let’s learn a little more about sleep apnea with facts from the American Association for Respiratory Care.

1. “Apnea” comes from a Greek word meaning “want of breath.”

Sleep apnea is often caused by a temporary obstruction to the airway opening at the back of the mouth. The most common form, called “obstructive sleep apnea,” occurs when the throat muscles relax – creating an obstruction that causes a disruption in breathing. There is literally a moment when the body is in “want of breath.”

2. People with sleep apnea can stop breathing as many as 30 times or more each night.

Those with sleep apnea, need breath over and over again. The disorder brings repetitive periods of difficulty breathing and it leads to loud snoring, abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, and severe difficulty sleeping. Lack of sleep, then, leads to other more severe problems.

3. People with sleep apnea sometimes fall asleep unexpectedly during the day, while talking on the phone or driving.

People with sleep apnea are three times more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents! Plus, studies have linked sleep apnea to heart attacks and strokes, and up to 50 percent of people with sleep apnea also suffer from high blood pressure.

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4. Sleep Apnea affects up to 18 million Americans

What’s more, officials estimate that 10 million Americans have the condition but have not been diagnosed. Smoking, alcohol use, and being overweight all increase the risk of sleep apnea as well.

Check out the Snore Score quiz from the American Sleep Apnea Association to help you determine if you are at higher risk for sleep apnea. (Keep this tip in mind too: losing just 10 percent of body weight can help reduce the number of times a person with sleep apnea stops breathing during sleep.)

So, can those with sleep apnea get a good night’s sleep? Absolutely and that’s where we come in.

Contact our office to schedule an appointment. Dr. Mulder can do a thorough examination to determine what causes your breathing blockage and what kind of appliance will help promote the free flow of air and eliminate the obstruction. (He might also recommend consulting a sleep disorder specialist before continuing with treatment if necessary.)

Don’t let sleep apnea disrupt your night’s rest any longer – give us a call!

Published by: Grand Rapids Dentistry Blog – A Life of Smiles
A Grand Rapids, Michigan based cosmetic, general & sedation dentistry

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