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.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sleep Apnea: A Silent, but Loud Killer

Obstructive sleep apnea blocks the airway during sleep preventing the flow of air from entering your body. The lack of oxygen to the brain and the rest of the body can leave you at risk for many health disorders and can take approximately ten years off your life expectancy.

The health risks untreated sleep apnea can cause include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attacks
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heart beats
  • Depression
  • Diabetes

Most people who suffer from sleep apnea have no idea they have the condition or that their health is at risk. Many times, a significant other will hear the sufferer snoring or notice that the sufferer stops breathing during sleep. One of the most noticeable signs of sleep apnea is snoring. Many people who snore visit their dentist to find out what can be done to stop the snoring so their significant other does not lose sleep. However, only about 70% of obstructive sleep apnea sufferers snore, so it’s important to be aware of the other symptoms of sleep apnea.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Weight gain
  • Gastric reflux
  • Insomnia

If you are snoring and have other symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact a sleep dentist in your area to find out if you are suffering from sleep apnea.

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posted by Dr. Candelaria at 6:20 AM