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, April 26, 2010

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a very common but serious sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. OSA is caused by a blockage in your airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses while you sleep. Some people who suffer from sleep apnea will stop breathing for several seconds several times a night, sometimes as many as hundreds of times a night. Spouses and partners of sleep apneics are often the ones who realize the person has this disorder; many people who have this know something is wrong because of how they feel the next day, but they are not aware of what is actually causing the problem.

People with sleep apnea may suffer from:

• Fatigue
• Daytime sleepiness
• Memory and concentration problems
• Hypertension
• Stroke
• Weight problems
• Insomnia
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Diabetes

Some people are more at risk than others of developing sleep apnea. Though sleep apnea can affect men, women and children of all ages, the following risk factors do make someone more inclined to suffer from this serious medical condition:

• Males
• Overweight
• Over age forty
• Large neck (greater than 16 inches in women and greater than 17 in men)
• Family history of sleep apnea
• GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder)
• Deviated septum or some other sinus problem
• Large tonsils
• Large tongue
• Small jaw bone

A highly trained sleep disorder dentist can relieve you of your symptoms with a variety of treatment modalities. If you live in Gurnee, Illinois or anywhere in Illinois, please contact sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Ira Shapira today to schedule a thorough evaluation.

posted by Lynn at 9:28 AM