Tag : sleeping disorders

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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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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.