SNORING / SLEEP APNEA
Snoring! This is what Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is most known for. Snoring alone is not a health issue, but snoring is one of the predisposing factors of OSA. OSA is estimated to afflict approximately 30 million Americans, the majority of whom are undiagnosed and untreated. While many people are aware that they snore, not all snorers have OSA. While it is true that snoring can sure put a damper on one’s personal life, the health effects from leaving apnea untreated can be quite serious. Numerous health risks are associated with OSA, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes type II, cardiac arrest, stroke, and fibromyalgia.
HEALTH ISSUES RELATED TO OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA
The health issues involving OSA are related to the level of oxygenation that is maintained throughout sleep. An apnea event is when breathing ceases to take place during sleep and lasts for a minimum of ten seconds. This happens as a result of the collapse of the soft tissue in the back of the throat, primarily the tongue. An obstruction in the back of the throat makes breathing very difficult, causing a drop in your blood’s oxygen saturation. In other words, if your oxygen saturation drops, stresses are applied to various organ systems, and these stresses can lead to numerous systemic diseases. The American Heart Association (AHA) considers untreated sleep apnea to be just as bad as smoking cigarettes. Perhaps even more dangerous is the daytime fatigue and exhaustion that people feel when struggling with sleep apnea. Thousands of car accidents take place each year that are attribute to people falling asleep at the wheel. Imagine how many could have been avoided if the driver was getting better sleep?
SCREENING FOR OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA
Dr. Chandran is actively involved in sleep disordered breathing and dentistry’s role in it. Dr. Chandran perfoms screening for snoring and OSA using a Home Monitoring Device. While not as effective as a report from a sleep center, this device accurately depicts one’s snoring, oxygen levels, and apnea incidences. If you have mild or moderate OSA or are simply a snorer, we have a solution for you. If you are found to have severe OSA, you will be referred to a board certified sleep physician for further treatment. Also, if you have tried CPAP therapy and found it is not for you, give us a call. We can help!