Five Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects approximately 22 million people in the United States. It is categorized as the starting and stopping of breathing during sleep. Often, people with sleep apnea stop breathing for more than 10 seconds at a time, anywhere from five to 100 times an hour. Worse yet, because they are asleep, they don’t realize it's happening, making a bad situation potentially deadly.

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The Jaw and the Airway

Have you ever thought about what your jaw has to do with the breathing process? Many patients are unaware that the struggles they have getting quality rest at night actually relate directly with dentistry. Simply put, the upper jaw must be wide enough to accommodate the tongue so that the airway can remain open at night.

Nasal breathing is an optimal bodily function. Everything about the nose is designed to maximize oxygen flow in the body. Nasal hairs trap bacteria before it enters the bloodstream and the shape and structure of the nose helps facilitate optimal oxygen distribution rate. The mouth serves as an OK backup, but if relied on over a long period of time puts an unhealthy amount of strain on the body.

The most common indication of an airway issue is snoring at night. Frequent, loud snoring is especially concerning as it could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. It’s also possible to experience a breathing disorder without noticeable snoring, so the best thing to do is see a professional if you fell depleted of energy even after a full night’s rest.

Do you have any questions about the jaw or sleep apnea? Please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 516-882-1764.

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Sleep Apnea and Women

About 22 million Americans receive treatment for sleep apnea and doctors estimate there are millions more sufferers who are unaware or misdiagnosed. When it comes to the classic case, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is fairly straightforward to spot. The profile is typically an overweight male who recognizes snoring loudly and frequently. But part of the barrier to reaching other patients in need is lack of education about the different ways sleep apnea can manifest in people.

Because of this misunderstanding, experts in the field suspect that many untreated cases are women. Women are likely to describe symptoms such as insomnia and depression, which can lead physicians down the wrong path. It’s easy to confuse problems such as difficulty falling asleep at night with stress-induced anxiety. These women then begin treatment for depression and never undercover the true source.

Women with sleep apnea are commonly misdiagnosed with anemia, cardiac disease, depression, diabetes, fatigue, fibromyalgia, hypertension, insomnia, menopausal changes and obesity. Having a sleep study done is the only way to get complete and conclusive information about how your airway is functioning. Like anything else, if there is an issue it’s better to identify it so we can provide the best treatment to get your health back on track.

Sleep apnea disturbs vital bodily functions and causes life-threatening conditions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you experience symptoms that could be related to sleep apnea: 516-882-1764.

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