It may be more than just a snore.
Sleep apnea is a potentially life threatening condition involving obstruction of the airway that causes repeated stops and starts in nighttime breathing. Up to 20% of the US adult population has sleep apnea, yet 90% of those who have it remain undiagnosed. The most common type is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This type occurs when airflow is blocked during sleep, usually by the soft tissue collapsing at the back of the throat during sleep.
People with sleep apnea experience periods of halted breathing that last from a few seconds to a minute or longer. Some sufferers are plagued with breathing interruptions as frequently as hundreds of times a night. At American Dental Solutions, our doctors can help you breath “normally” again while sleeping if you suffer from this common, but serious disorder.
Symptoms & Signs
If you have undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea, you may have chronic symptoms such as:
- Difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep
- Daytime fatigue and sleepiness, especially late in the afternoon
- High Blood Pressure
- Type II Diabetes
- Having suffered a stroke or heart attack
- Difficulty waking up or still feeling tired upon wakening
- Morning headaches
- Dry Mouth
- Sore Throat
- Restlessness during the night
- Short-term memory problems
- Concentration difficulties
- Intellectual deterioration
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Erectile dysfunction
Dr. Sulzbach researches each patient’s unique apnea issues through diagnostic testing, observation, and an in-depth discussion with each patient. One way he gathers information is through sleep studies done with take home tests or at a local sleep center. These sleep studies are extremely valuable for identifying and evaluating sleep apnea while the patient is asleep. In fact, they are the only way to diagnose this condition. Beware any healthcare professionals that claim to be able to diagnose sleep apnea without a sleep study.
For many patients, Sleep Apnea treatment can be convenient and effective, consisting of wearing a custom appliance at night. It will hold your lower jaw slightly forward and keep your airway open. Oral appliance therapy is the first line of treatment for people with mild and moderate sleep apnea. For these patients, it is equally effective as CPAP and most patients prefer it to CPAP due to the ease of use and superior comfort. If you have severe sleep apnea you should make every effort to use CPAP. However, if you cannot tolerate CPAP, you may be a candidate for oral appliance therapy.
What happens if Sleep Apnea goes untreated?
When your normal breathing pattern is interrupted, the oxygen levels in your blood drop. This repeated oxygen deprivation each night, causes cell death and damage which then devastates your organs. As a result, this significantly increases your risk for major and even life threatening medical conditions.
- Approximately 80% of night time strokes are due to Sleep Apnea.
- Approximately 70% of stroke victims also have Sleep Apnea.
- Untreated Sleep Apnea, depending on severity, can increase your chances of having a stroke from 50% to over 300%.
- Over 65% of night time heart attacks are related to Sleep Apnea.
- Untreated Sleep Apnea carries a 5 times greater risk of death from cancer.
- 65% of patients with Type II Diabetes have Sleep Apnea.
- Untreated Sleep Apnea increases your risk of sudden death by 46%.
- Your untreated Sleep Apnea is also a danger to others. With a 10 times higher chance of a motor vehicle accident and one-in-five fatal accidents caused by drowsy driving.
Meet Dr. Sulzbach
Dr. Sulzbach is proud to provide the highest quality treatment at the most affordable fees for all of his patients while being a national leader in the fields of Dental Sleep Medicine and Craniofacial Pain. He treats patients out of American Dental Solutions of Muhlenberg Twp., and American Dental Solutions of Sinking Spring.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Dr. Sulzbach.
Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Sulzbach by calling 1-844-9SMILES, or click here to schedule online.