Its a household word, right? Sleep Apnea is a common condition on the rise in America. As we increase our awareness, lets review some info…
(if you are impatient like me, here is the TEST that I promised)
Apnea is the Greek word for "without breath." If you stop breathing, an "apneic event" occurs when oxygen levels in the body fall. Depending on your condition, blood oxygen levels can plummet; this leads to serious health consequences.
Sleep Apnea has been linked to:
As age increaases, so does the percentage of people who have sleep apnea. There is no question that lack of awareness by the public and healthcare professionals means the vast majority of sleep apnea sufferers are not diagnosed or treated!
So, what should we do about this? For starters, take this brief 8 question TEST to determine if you should seek further information. Next, talk to someone (your dentist or primary physician) about it next time you come in. Dentists typically have attempted to treat the cases if applicable by making an intraoral appliance like a 'retainer' that would help position the lower jaw in a more favorable position. In my experience, this has to be done with special attention to the orthodontic side effects to the jaw and the patient's bite (occlusion). Nightguards are made in a similar way and its all to often that the patient will not wear the device because its hard to get used to in the beginning. This course of treatment is usless if the patient is not compliant with recommendations. With this in mind I have searched out ways to treat the less serious/severe cases by alternative means.
I have seen much success with this product: Silent Snore spray. If you or a loved one has troubles with simple snoring, I don't think you can beat the risk to benefit ratio of trying the Silent Snore product. I was exposed to this product because I am a snorer and it was driving my wife crazy! Through a family friend we met the creator Dr. Frank & he is an amazing person. I have to tell you, that I tested the results myself with a blind test to see if my wife noticed the difference in my snoring & it works very well. Although I do know Dr. Frank I am not in any way gaining financially for endorsing his product.
Ok, so getting back to the more serious OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) Condition. If you have scored a total of 10 or more on the Epworth Sleepiness Test, consult your doctor/dentist regarding potential solutions. This may include an overnight sleep evaluation from someone like this: www.remsleeplabs.com It can be serious and may be due to extra tissue in the back of the airway such as the soft pallet or large tonsils. The tongue falling back can close off the airway while a decrease in the tone of the muscles holding the airway open could be part of the problem. My last recommendation is that if feel like you may be carrying a few extra pounds you are probably right! Talk to someone who cares and we'll get you on the right track. Regarding overall health and wellness here is a great place to start:
additional side notes: some additional information can be found at www.remsleeplabs.com
"The research study, "A New Tongue-Retaining Oral Appliance" by Rosalind Cartwright, et al. at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago was presented at the 18th Annual APSS Convention at Philadelphia in June 2004. The Abstract was published in the Journal of Sleep, Vol. 27, June 2004, 412. The result: nasal breathing can effectively control snoring and mild sleep apnea."