If your spouse or partner has complained that you snore a lot and wake them up, you may have a serious health condition known as sleep apnea. An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from it and 80% are undiagnosed.
Apneas are short pauses in breathing during sleep that cause the individual to begin to wake up in reaction hundreds of times during the night. They don’t actually become conscious and don’t realize what has happened. The result is constant fatigue during the day, occasionally falling suddenly asleep at work, and inability to concentrate or remember things, as well as often anxiety, depression, irritability, or migraine headaches.
The good news is that many cases can be easily controlled with a customized, FDA-approved oral appliance to put in just before you go to bed. This is much more comfortable than the standard medical solution, which connects an oxygen supply by a tube to a face mask that covers the nose (known as CPAP).
According to WebMD https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/sleep-apnea, sleep apnea and other causes of sleep deprivation cause many personal and even social problems, including:
- Raising the risk for heart disease, heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, irregular heartbeat, and high blood pressure.
- Weight gain (which itself makes it more likely that you snore and have apneas).
- Erectile dysfunction and lower sex drive.
- Alzheimer’s disease.
- Traffic accidents (lack of quality sleep is responsible on average for 100,000 vehicle accidents and 1,600 deaths annually)
Men are most likely to have sleep apnea, with as many as 92% of middle aged men having some form of it, while 83% of same-aged women do. Individuals who are at greater risk for having sleep apnea include those who have allergies, acid reflux, sinus problems, a deviated septum, or use tranquilizers or drink alcohol.
Many CPAP users not only find it uncomfortable to lie on their back all night and keep the mask on, studies show they often do not follow the instructions properly. The reason our oral appliance (which is similar to a sports mouth guard) works so well for many is that it blocks the tongue from falling back and blocking the throat, a common cause of oxygen deprivation and snoring. It is usually covered by dental insurance.
Wilshire Smile Studio often utilizes the most advanced oral appliance in dentistry, a customizable product made by SomnoMed which patients find very comfortable and effective in stopping snoring and improving their sleep. It stops the symptoms of sleep apnea because the body is able to receive sufficient oxygen from normal breathing while asleep.
If you are your partner have symptoms of sleep apnea, make an appointment with us to have a full diagnosis to determine how to improve your sleep and renew your daily life.