Tag : sleep disorders

0 260

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.

0 332

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.

0 511

Snoring versus sleep apnea

Annoyed woman covering her ears with pillows to block out snorinWhen it comes to snoring and sleep apnea, some people may struggle to figure out the difference between the two. Snoring is extremely common, and it affects 90 million Americans. It may occur nightly or intermittently.

So what causes it, and how is it different than obstructive sleep apnea?

Snoring occurs when the collapsible part of the airway — where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula — strike each other when breathing, creating a vibration. In this situation, the airway is partially closed.

Some of the most common causes of snoring include:

  • obstructed nasal passageways;
  • excessively bulky throat tissue; and
  • poor tongue and throat muscle tone.

Sleep apnea, on the other hand, is caused when the airway completely closes. The tongue falls against the soft palate, and the soft palate and uvula fall against the back of the throat, so when your chest rises to inhale, no air comes in. This can occur hundreds of times throughout one night, and each episode may last mere seconds to more than a minute. Sometimes those with this condition may snore; other times not. In either case, daytime drowsiness is a hallmark symptom.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition, because not only does it prevent you from getting adequate sleep, it can increase the likelihood that you will experience a host of other problems ranging from depression and headaches to increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and even stroke.

In Texas, dentists in addition to sleep physicians may treat patients for this disorder. The first step is to talk with us. If you are experiencing frequent snoring, we can order a sleep study, and depending on the results, fit you for a custom oral appliance designed to prop the airway open at night. Whether your snoring is simply that — snoring — or an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea, we’ll help you get the answers you are looking for, to get the rest you need. Scheduling an appointment with DaVinci Dentistry is the first step. Call 817-251-8333.