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 24, 2011

Your Doctor Should Ask You about Your Sleep

About 90% of sleep apnea of sufferers in the United States do not know they have the condition and that their health is at risk. Because of this, sleep experts are urging doctors to ask patients questions regarding the quality of their sleep at each doctor’s visit. Asking patients about their sleep will help doctors discover if their patients have any symptoms of sleep apnea and will lead to the necessary diagnosis and treatment of the condition.

Sleep apnea disturbs the quality of sleep a patient is receiving by causing the patient to frequently wake up during the night and by repeatedly blocking the flow of oxygen resulting in periods of stopped breathing. A disrupted night’s sleep can negatively affect how a person functions during the day. Children with sleep apnea tend to have difficulty paying attention at school and often have poor grades.

The many symptoms of sleep apnea can warn a patient that they may have this serious condition. However, most of the symptoms only reveal themselves during sleep while other symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Snoring
  • Episodes of stopped breathing during sleep
  • Feelings of excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Depression
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia

If you are having difficulty with your quality of sleep or have symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact a sleep dentist in your area to discuss sleep apnea.

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posted by Dr. Candelaria at 6:25 AM