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Sleep Apnea Can Go Unnoticed Are you Affected?

Sleep apnea affects millions of people around the globe, and with a large percentage of those people not even aware that they are suffering from the disorder, could go unnoticed and become quite serious.

What is Sleep Apnea?

According to Web MD, the disorder affects the breathing passages and causes a person to wake up abruptly up to 30 times an hour or more. If you sleep alone, you probably don’t notice the gasping and choking sounds you make when you are asleep. When you choke and gasp during sleep your brain is trying to wake up you so that you can breathe again. When your breathing stops it can reduce the oxygen flow to your brain and other organs in your body.

Problems that can Occur from the Disorder:

• Stroke
• High blood pressure
• Irregular heartbeats
• Heart Attack
• Heart Failure
• Diabetes
• Worsening ADHD symptoms
• Headaches
• Daytime sleepiness
• Poor performance in school for kids with sleep apnea
• Academic underachievement
• Traffic accidents

Who is at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Although the disorder can affect people of all ages, yes, even children, there are some additional things that could put you at risk including:

• Being obese or overweight
• Being male
• Being over the age of 40
• Having a large neck size
• Large tonsils
• Large tongue
• Small jawbone
• Genetics
• Family history of the disorder
• Acid reflux
• Nasal obstruction

How do I Know if I Have It?

Some of the signs that you may be suffering from sleep apnea include:

• Loud snoring, although not everyone who snores loudly has sleep apnea
• Dry or sore throat
• Morning headaches
• Restless nights
• Mood changes
• Waking up gasping or choking
• Lack of energy
• Problems staying awake at work or behind the wheel
• Decreased sex drive
• Insomnia
• Forgetfulness

How is Sleep Apnea Treated?

The most common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine. However, most patients grow tired of the inconvenience not to mention the comfort level. Sleeping with a mask over your face with a machine pushing air down your passageway to keep it open isn’t the most comfortable way to get a good night sleep. After a few months, most patients will stop using the CPAP device. Thankfully, there are other solutions for sleep apnea such as oral appliance therapy.

My dental practice in Downtown Portland offers oral appliance therapy and can help you get a better night’s sleep.

Call or click for more information regarding oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea. It really could save your life.

Call or click today.

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