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.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Snoring is a Good Indicator of Sleep Apnea

While most people consider snoring more of an annoyance than a health issue, the truth is that snoring can lead to very serious health problems. Snoring is closely related to a health condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA); according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, over 12 million Americans have OSA. This condition can lead to:

High blood pressure
Concentration and memory problems
Weight gain
Cardiac problems

Many people wonder what causes snoring. It's quite simple, actually. When you sleep, the soft tissue and muscles in your mouth and throat relax, which causes your airway to become smaller; if it becomes too small, your soft palate and uvula will vibrate against each other when you breathe in and out. This is the sound of snoring. Sleep studies indicate that snoring is very common. In fact, 45% of the general population snores. Six percent of children snore on a regular basis, also.

According to the medical journal, JAMA, people who snore are three times more likely to be involved in a car accident than non-snorers, and snoring is worse in those who are overweight.

There are treatments for snoring and sleep apnea. While CPAP has been the gold standard for many decades, it is uncomfortable and has a very low success rate in patient compliance. Oral appliances that are worn at night have proven to be hugely successful because the mouth pieces are custom-fitted to each patient.

If you live in Illinois and are tired of feeling tired because you were up most of the night, please contact sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Ira Shapira in Gurnee, Illinois today to schedule a thorough consultation.

posted by Lynn at 9:29 AM