Tag : obstructive sleep apnea

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How Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affects You on the Job

Obstructive sleep apnea can impact your job performance.The effects of lack of sleep among U.S. workers made headlines this week, when a study by nonprofit Rand Corp. quantified the economic impact of this concerning trend. A staggering $411 billion and 1.2 million working days were lost due to lack of sleep. In a number of those cases, it is quite feasible that individuals did allot the prescribed 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, but that another phenomenon robbed them of their rest: obstructive sleep apnea.

This condition, also known as OSA, occurs when an individual is sleeping, so the person affected may never know it is occurring. It’s characterized by the relaxation of muscles in the throat during sleep, and when the tongue falls back, further blocking the airway, oxygen intake is decreased.

Some of the ways obstructive sleep apnea can affect you at work include:

  • Reaction time – This can have more dramatic consequences for specific jobs, especially ones that require lifting or operating heavy machinery. All workers are affected, though, as decreased reaction time can increase the chance of a car accident during your commute.
  • Decisions – When you’re tired, it’s harder to work through tough judgment calls.
  • Concentration – The ability to focus, and often for sustained periods of time, may be necessary for many jobs. If you’re repeatedly having trouble keeping your attention on a task, it could point to a lack of sleep.

The good news is that patients today have multiple options for OSA treatment. Southlake’s DaVinci Dentistry is just one team that can deal with this sleep-disordered breathing problem through the use of a custom-fitted oral appliance. As patients learn what it is to feel refreshed each day, they’ll likely find that their performance at work improves, too. If you have questions about diagnosing OSA and the solutions we provide, contact us at 817-251-9333.

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2 Ways Sleep Apnea is Harmful

Sleep apnea can cause car accidents, as this photo of a man sleeping in a car illustrates. More than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And for those individuals suffering from the condition, in which the muscles in your throat relax during sleep and the tongue falls back and blocks the airway, the resulting lack of oxygen has a trickle-down effect, in more ways than one.

Here are just a couple ways in which sleep apnea is harmful to you:

  1. Drowsiness – While the disturbances in breathing cause by sleep apnea may be imperceptible to you — despite the fact that bedmates often deal with snoring — the condition actually causes you to wake briefly. This pause in breathing followed by a split-second waking can occur up to 30 times an hour, cutting into crucial sleep cycles. Drowsiness in and of itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, but get behind the wheel of a car, or try to operate heavy machinery on the job, and accidents can and do occur.
  2. Heart disease – When sleep apnea disrupts the body’s oxygen levels, the brain can have a hard time regulating the flow of blood through the arteries, which can contribute to heart attack risk. In fact, a 2013 Mayo Clinic study revealed that people with obstructive sleep apnea are at a greater risk for sudden cardiac death during sleep. This risk doubles when the sleep apnea patient experiences more than 20 breathing disruptions per hour, coupled with drastic falls in oxygen saturation levels, the amount of air flowing through your lungs.

As awareness about obstructive sleep apnea continues to grow, and with it, the knowledge base on ways to treat it, patients have more options at their disposal. Since sleep apnea involves the mouth and throat, the team at Southlake’s DaVinci Dentistry can fabricate an oral appliance designed to prop the mouth open at night, customized specifically for you. Drs. Khal and Raed Ajlouni are experienced in dental sleep medicine, and they can combine an accurate diagnosis coupled with oral appliance therapy to help treat your condition, decrease risks and improve your quality of life. Contact us by calling 817-251-9333, filling out our online appointment request or connecting with us on Facebook.

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Effects of sleep apnea: How much sleep do you need each night?

 

For anyone who has ever suffered from sleep apnea, insomnia or other disruptions in sleep, the adage that we all “need a good night’s rest” is probably one you understand well. Even so, the amount of time recommended to devote to sleeping each day, per the National Sleep Foundation, may surprise you.

Recommended hours of sleep per night

Here’s a closer look:

  • Newborn (0-3 months) – 14 to 17 hours
  • Infant (4-11 months) – 12 to 15 hours
  • Toddler (1-2 years) – 11 to 14 hours
  • Preschool (3-5 years) – 10 to 13 hours
  • School age (6-13 years) – 9 to 11 hours
  • Teenager (14-17 years) – 8 to 10 hours
  • Young adult (18-25 years) – 7 to 9 hours
  • Adult (26-64 years) – 7 to 9 hours
  • Older adult (65+ years) – 7 to 8 hours

When sleep apnea is to blame

Three sheep jumping over the fence. Count them to sleep.Even if you allot enough time for sleep, conditions like obstructive sleep apnea — when the muscles in your throat relax and the tongue falls back and blocks the airway as you sleep — could be robbing you of the rest your body needs, as well as vital oxygen for all of your organs, including your heart and brain. Unless you have a spouse or bedmate who tells you about persistent snoring (snoring can be but is not always symptomatic of sleep apnea), you may not even know anything is wrong. Other indicators such as waking up frequently in the night, waking up with headaches and excessive daytime drowsiness might be all you experience.

Taking action

If this is the case, and you are allotting the recommended hours of sleep per night, talk to us at DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake about your concerns. Dental as well as medical practices can assist you with diagnosis through take-home sleep studies. And if all signs point toward sleep apnea, dental solutions such as oral appliances can help. By comfortably propping open the mouth, these devices help prevent the tongue and soft tissues from obstructing your airway during sleep. If you still have questions about sleep apnea solutions, don’t hesitate to call our office at 817-251-9333 to schedule an appointment.

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Sleep apnea by age

Couple smiling Sleep apnea has become incredibly common in the U.S. Taken from the Greek word “apnea,” which means “without breath,” this condition occurs when you involuntarily stop breathing during sleep. Approximately 80 percent of people affected by sleep apnea have what is known as obstructive sleep apnea, which is when the muscles in the throat relax, and the tongue falls back and blocks the airway, reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to your heart, organs and brain.

It’s estimated to affect upward of 30 million Americans.

So does age make you more vulnerable or less susceptible to this sleep-related breathing disorder? It depends. While most diagnoses of sleep apnea occur in adults age 40 or older, numbers published on the American Academy of Sleep Medicine site pointing to an American Journal of Epidemiology Study reveal that 26 percent of adults ages 30 to 70 have sleep apnea.

It’s not something that just affects adults, either. For nonobese children ages 8 and younger, the rate of sleep apnea can be as high as 5 percent.

Regardless of age, sleep apnea is a serious condition that can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, memory problems, headaches, job impairment and much more. As the obesity epidemic in the U.S. increases, so too, does incidence of sleep apnea, although it can occur in people who are not overweight.

If you have concerns about sleep apnea, we can talk to you about next steps to get the relief you need. Often, we can order a sleep study and fabricate an oral appliance that will address your symptoms. For sleep apnea relief, the Southlake team of DaVinci Dentistry is here. Call 817-251-9333.

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Who is more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea – men or women?

Sleep Apnea Word CloudAs awareness of obstructive sleep apnea grows, chances are you have heard about this serious health concern. And if you snore or someone in your household snores, you may even wonder if you’re at risk for this condition.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, men are more likely than women to have obstructive sleep apnea. But that doesn’t mean if you’re female that you are completely in the free and clear. Risk for obstructive sleep apnea, a chronic, potentially life-threatening medical disorder that is characterized by interruptions of breathing during sleep, increases with age. But in some instances, even overweight children are at risk.

Other sleep apnea risk factors include:

  • family history of sleep apnea;
  • obesity; and
  • people with small airways (noses, throats, mouths).

While not necessarily a risk factor in and of itself, sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and heart problems.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be at risk for sleep apnea, talk to the team at DaVinci Dentistry. The field of dental sleep medicine has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and we can discuss options to diagnose and manage obstructive sleep apnea. Oftentimes, the solution is as simple as an oral appliance. Talk to us today: 817-251-9333.

 

 

 

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Risk factors for sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea diagram

In Texas, dentists and physicians can diagnose and treat obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the tongue and muscles in the throat relax during sleep and fall back against the throat. This can reduce the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart and brain. While these interruptions in breathing may be imperceptible to the individual, they also disrupt sleep, which means that daytime drowsiness is just one of myriad health problems associated with sleep apnea.

Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea are staggeringly broad, and include:

  • being male;
  • excess weight;
  • smoking and/or alcohol use;
  • age (while even children can experience sleep apnea, incidence increases with age);
  • family history;
  • nasal congestion; and
  • neck size (risk of sleep apnea is higher in men with a neck circumference of 17 inches or more and in women with a neck circumference of 15 inches or more).

A second type of sleep apnea, known as central sleep apnea, occurs when breathing starts and stops repeatedly during sleep, not because of an obstruction in the airway but because the brain fails to send the signals to the muscles that control breathing. Dentists do not treat this type of sleep apnea.

If you think you may be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea, the Southlake team of DaVinci Dentistry is here to talk to you about sleep studies, diagnosis and treatment with a custom oral appliance. Our goal is to get you the sleep you need and deserve to live a healthy, beautiful life. We are only a phone call away: 817-251-9333.

 

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Treating obstructive sleep apnea: CPAP therapy vs. oral appliances

You’ve discussed your symptoms with your dentist. You diligently completed the at-home sleep study. Then there’s the diagnosis. You do indeed have obstructive sleep apnea. Now what?

When it comes to treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, you have several options that accomplish the same goal — keeping the airway open to ensure you get the oxygen you need during sleep — but in very different ways. As you weigh your options, it may help to understand two of the most common forms of treatment: CPAP machines and oral appliances.

A full face mask for a CPAP machine.

A full face mask for a CPAP machine

CPAP therapy

CPAP — continuous positive airway pressure — machines operate much like their description. The machine prevents your throat from collapsing when you inhale during sleep by providing a constant stream of air pressure. It consists of prongs that fit into your nose, and a mask that covers the nose or both the nose and mouth. Connected to the mask is a tube through which the air passes from the machine to your throat.

Oral appliances

Similar in appearance to a sports mouthguard, the most common dental appliances for sleep apnea fit over the upper and lower teeth like a retainer. Known as mandibular advancement devices, they have a pole-like attachment that pushes the lower jaw forward and down, propping the mouth open and preventing the throat from collapsing during sleep.

How we can help

When it comes to treating obstructive sleep apnea, we at DaVinci Dentistry know there’s no one-size-fits all solution for everyone. CPAP machines may indeed be the best option for some patients. But for those who cannot tolerate them (noise, nasal congestion, skin and eye irritation, and mask leaks are among the most common complaints), dental appliances provide a viable solution. The fact that they are silent, simple to use and portable is appealing to many patients.

If you experience drowsiness on a regular basis and snore at night (or are told by a bed mate that you snore), talk to us about it. As dentists trained in dental sleep medicine, we can coordinate the sleep studies required for diagnosis and fit you with a custom-made appliance. Call 817-251-9333.

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Resolving to have more energy in the New Year: Investigating whether sleep apnea may be the cause of your daytime drowsiness

Sleep apnea word cloud concept with insomnia snore related tagsDo you often feel tired and lack the energy needed to get through the day? Poor sleep could be too blame, but the problem doesn’t stop there.

Inadequate sleep can put you at risk for myriad health problems and other concerns, including:

  • forgetfulness;
  • inability to concentrate;
  • memory loss;
  • car accidents;
  • weight gain;
  • high blood pressure;
  • diabetes;
  • stroke;
  • heart disease;
  • heart attack; and
  • more.

While getting enough sleep can be a matter of changing behavior and lifestyle patterns, sometimes the answer is not so simple. Even for adults who carve out the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night, a condition known as sleep apnea robs many of the rest they need to function and thrive.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway temporarily closes during sleep as a result of soft tissues collapsing in the throat. This can occur for seconds at a time to a minute or more. The interruptions in sleep may not even be noticeable to you, but when it happens hundreds of times a night, the sleep loss adds up.

So how do you know if you have sleep apnea? Among many symptoms, drowsiness can be a telltale sign, but to be sure, a sleep test can be ordered. With advances in modern dentistry, more and more dentists — including your team at DaVinci — play a vital role in diagnosing and treating this condition. If you think you may be at risk for sleep apnea, consider making investigating this condition a part of your 2016 New Year’s resolutions.

During your appointment, we can talk to you about ordering a sleep study and the custom-fitted oral appliances that prop the airway open during sleep. It’s amazing what a huge difference this treatment can make on your life. We’re located in Southlake and serve surrounding communities throughout DFW and North Texas. Call us at 817-251-9333.

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Do I have obstructive sleep apnea? 8 common symptoms

A man rests his head on his hands after a restless night's sleepObstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in your throat relax during sleep, blocking the airway and disrupting breathing, causing it to stop and start repeatedly. One of the most eye-opening things we tell our patients is that they may not even know they have obstructive sleep apnea. Because obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that occurs during sleep, you’re likely not to be aware of it. What you can take stock of, though, is symptoms you may experience throughout the day.

Below are eight common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea:

  • loud snoring (often witnessed by another person);
  • cessation in breathing (also often witnessed by another person);
  • dry mouth upon awakening;
  • morning headaches;
  • waking up repeatedly during sleep;
  • excessive sleepiness/drowsiness during the day;
  • irritability; and
  • attention problems.

Are you experiencing many or all of these symptoms? While this list may not outright mean you are one of the millions of Americans dealing with this disorder, it does mean you’ll want to talk to your dentist or other health care providers to find out more.

As dentists, we can fabricate a customized oral appliance just for you, designed to keep the airway open during sleep. This gives you back the rest you need, allowing you to more fully embrace each day. Talk with us about diagnosis and treatment options during your next appointment. Contact us: 817-251-9333.