What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea, also known as obstructive sleep disorder, affects 25% of the population. Most of which goes undiagnosed. It's more prevalent in men. The only way it can be truly diagnosed is by the patient having a sleep study.
Snoring is defined as partial obstruction by the tongue of the airway. Sleep apnea is complete obstruction of the airway which lasts at least 10 seconds and occurs at least 6 times per hour. Less than 5 episodes per hour of cessation of breathing is considered normal. Above 30 events per hour is considered severe.
The two key signs of sleep apnea are snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness. Other factors are:
If you or your spouse exhibit these signs/factors you should seek medical evaluation.
- Overweight (but not necessarily)
- Age (increases as you get older)
- Large neck size (over 17 inches for a male)
The cessation of breathing during sleep causes the blood oxygen level to decrease. This can increase the risk of:
The literature also indicates that severe sleep apnea can shorten your life span by 8 years or more if left untreated.
- Heart attack
- Acid reflux
- Atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries)
The treatment options for sleep apnea include:
Are you unsure of whether or not you have sleep apnea? Take the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) to find out! This short questionnaire will tell you if your daytime sleepiness is normal or affects your quality of life.
- Oral Appliances
Watch this video to learn how to stop snoring or sleep apnea symptoms!.
More questions? -
If your sleep apnea does not improve please contact our Newmarket dental office about this latex free treatment. We would be happy to help!