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, December 28, 2011

Untreated Sleep Apnea Poses Risks to Sufferers and Innocent People

Sleep disorders, and in particular obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), have received much media attention of late as an advisory panel to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently recommended sleep apnea screenings for commercial truck drivers and a new study indicated that nearly half of all police officers have symptoms of sleep disorders.

Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders pose health hazards to the individuals who suffer from them, but when they affect those who operate heavy machinery or work in the public service sector, innocent people can also be adversely impacted.

Many articles and much commentary surrounding sleep disorders and professions such as truck drivers and police focus on sleep apnea symptoms and risks. While it is certainly important to acknowledge these factors, it is also important to understand that there are a number of treatment options available that allow those with OSA to function safely and normally during their waking hours.

Sleep apnea treatment is not limited to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices. Although CPAP has proven effective at helping those with OSA maintain unobstructed airways, many patients find the CPAP masks uncomfortable and stop using the devices.

An increasing number of patients are successfully treating sleep apnea and other sleep disorders with the use of oral appliances. There are a number of dentists nationwide who specialize in sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment. A consultation with one of these dentists can help determine the cause of your sleep disorder and indicate the best treatment option for your individual condition.

If you believe you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, please contact a qualified sleep apnea dentist near you.

posted by Steve at 9:14 AM