Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sleep Apnea on the Rise

With the rise of sleep medicines in the United States, more and more people are discovering they are suffering from sleep apnea. When people come into the doctor and describe why they need sleep medicines, doctors often discover either they or their sleeping partner is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

With sleeping pills and other medicines increasing in popularity, patients have been coming to doctors describing a few different reasons as to why they need to get better rest at night. Some people want to sleep through a sleeping partner’s loud snoring; other people feel like they wake up throughout the night for no reason. Both of these are common sleep apnea symptoms.

Sleep apnea occurs very often in older and obese people when the muscles in the throat become weak and are unable to keep the airways open. The result of this obstruction is loud snoring that can be a true nightmare for sleeping partners. In addition to snoring, the body can also force you awake because it is in need of air. When you wake up multiple times a night simply for your body to get oxygen, it can have a serious effect on other aspects of your life.

Sleep apnea dangers include an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, obesity, and high blood pressure. If you’re feeling tired during the day, or if you’re hearing from your sleep partner that you snore all night, it may be time to discover if you have sleep apnea.

The best way to determine if you have sleep apnea is to schedule a full sleep apnea evaluation with Dr. Ira Shapira, Gurnee, Illinois dentist.

posted by Lynn at 6:57 AM