Tag : osa

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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.