Sleep Apnea … What is that?
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, you might have sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an increasingly common, chronic, sleep-related breathing disorder. OSA is characterized by periodic narrowing and obstruction of the pharyngeal airway during sleep.
Untreated OSA is associated with long-term health consequences including cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, cognitive impairment, and depression.
Common symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, non-refreshing sleep, nocturia, morning headache, irritability, and memory loss.
In Bloomfield Dental Center, we have a specialist doctor in OCA, Dr. Wasseem Samman is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. Scope of practice Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, TMJD Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea, pediatric and adults, OSA Syndrome, Assessment of risk factors, Diagnosis, and treatment planning.
Who Has OSA?
All of us have OSA, and both of us receive treatment that makes a world of difference.
According to study leader Richard Schwab from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, patients who suffer from snoring or sleepiness should be checked for sleep apnea.
More than 18 million American adults have OSA. It is very difficult at present to estimate the prevalence of childhood OSA because of widely varying monitoring techniques, but a minimum prevalence of 2 to 3% is likely, with prevalence as high as 10 to 20% in habitually snoring children. OSA occurs in all age groups and both sexes.
It could make a big difference in your life, too. OSA is quite common, with estimates that it affects up to 17% of men and 9% of women ages 50 to 70, and 10% of men and 3% of women 30 to 49.
OSA is when the upper airway collapses during sleep, leading to periods of, well, not breathing. About 24 million Americans have OSA and don’t know it, research suggests, and many who do know don’t get treatment.
The main types of sleep apnea are:
– OSA: the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax.
– Central Sleep Apnea: which occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
– Complex Sleep Apnea syndrome: also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, which occurs when someone has both OSA and central sleep apnea.
If You Have OSA, How to Know?
The signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas overlap, sometimes making it difficult to determine which type you have. The most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas include:
– Loud snoring.
– Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep — which would be reported by another person.
– Gasping for air during sleep.
– Awakening with a dry mouth.
– Morning headache.
– Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia).
– Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia).
– Difficulty paying attention while awake.
In many cases, an apnea, or temporary pause in breathing, is caused by the tissue in the back of the throat collapsing. The muscles of the upper airway relax when you fall asleep. If you sleep on your back, gravity can cause the tongue to fall back. This narrows the airway, which reduces the amount of air that can reach your lungs. The narrowed airway causes snoring by making the tissue in back of the throat vibrate as you breathe.
OSA can make you wake up in the morning feeling tired or unrefreshed even though you have had a full night of sleep. During the day, you may feel fatigued, have difficulty concentrating or you may even unintentionally fall asleep.
This is because your body is waking up numerous times throughout the night, even though you might not be conscious of each awakening.
Is it Risky if I Ignore it?
Sleep apnea can affect anyone, even children. But certain factors increase your risk.
Factors that increase the risk of this form of sleep apnea include:
– Excess weight. Obesity greatly increases the risk of sleep apnea. Fat deposits around your upper airway can obstruct your breathing.
– Neck circumference. People with thicker necks might have narrower airways.
– A narrowed airway. You might have inherited a narrow throat. Tonsils or adenoids also can enlarge and block the airway, particularly in children.
– Being male. Men are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea than are women. However, women increase their risk if they’re overweight, and their risk also appears to rise after menopause.
– Being older. Sleep apnea occurs significantly more often in older adults.
– Family history. Having family members with sleep apnea might increase your risk.
– Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers. These substances relax the muscles in your throat, which can worsen obstructive sleep apnea.
– Smoking. Smokers are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than are people who’ve never smoked. Smoking can increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway.
– Nasal congestion. If you have difficulty breathing through your nose — whether from an anatomical problem or allergies — you’re more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea.
What is the Complications?
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition. Complications can include:
– Daytime fatigue. The repeated awakenings associated with sleep apnea make normal, restorative sleep impossible, making severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue and irritability likely.
You might have difficulty concentrating and find yourself falling asleep at work, while watching TV or even when driving. People with sleep apnea have an increased risk of motor vehicle and workplace accidents.
You might also feel quick-tempered, moody or depressed. Children and adolescents with sleep apnea might perform poorly in school or have behavior problems.
– High blood pressure or heart problems. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. Having OSA increases your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension).
OSA might also increase your risk of recurrent heart attack, stroke and abnormal heartbeats, such as atrial fibrillation. If you have heart disease, multiple episodes of low blood oxygen (hypoxia or hypoxemia) can lead to sudden death from an irregular heartbeat.
– Type 2 diabetes. Having OSA increases your risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
– Metabolic syndrome. This disorder, which includes high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, high blood sugar and an increased waist circumference, is linked to a higher risk of heart disease.
– Complications with medications and surgery. OSA is also a concern with certain medications and general anesthesia. People with OSA might be more likely to have complications after major surgery because they’re prone to breathing problems, especially when sedated and lying on their backs.
Before you have surgery, tell your doctor about your sleep apnea and how it’s being treated.
– Liver problems. People with OSA are more likely to have abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers are more likely to show signs of scarring (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease).
– Sleep-deprived partners. Loud snoring can keep anyone who sleeps near you from getting good rest. It’s not uncommon for a partner to have to go to another room, or even to another floor of the house, to be able to sleep.
When Should you visit us?
Loud snoring can indicate a potentially serious problem, but not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. Talk to Bloomfield Dental Center if you have signs or symptoms of sleep apnea. Ask your doctor about any sleep problem that leaves you fatigued, sleepy and irritable.
If you Felt anything wrong, Visit Bloomfield Dental Center as soon as possible.
Seeing your dentist before you have a problem keeps your dental bill as low as possible.
Call us now: 562-926-6502 or contact us online And also you can schedule your appointment.