It's an insidious condition that quietly (or not so quietly) erodes your health over time. It's a deceiving disorder because 90% of people who have it don't even know it. And it may have already invaded your bedroom.
It attacks when you're most vulnerable and least aware of its dangers. It can cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. If left untreated, it can become life threatening. Just the thought of it is enough to keep you awake at night.
The condition is called sleep apnea and it literally takes your breath away.
In an individual without sleep apnea, the throat muscles keep the throat and airway open. In an individual with sleep apnea, however, the throat collapses and blocks the airway, preventing air from getting to the lungs.
If you were to review 1,000 death certificates, you wouldn't discover any causes of death to be sleep apnea. You may, however, come to the conclusion that those with acute cases of sleep apnea were more likely to die earlier than those without. Although sleep apnea is not usually deadly on it's own, it attacks subtly through cardiovascular disease, stroke, and accidents caused by sleep deprivation.
A person with sleep apnea will often wake up feeling like they have not slept at all and in turn have difficulty staying awake during the day. Other common side effects of sleep deprivation include a jeopardized immune system, poor mental and emotional health, and irritability. And remember: sleep apnea has effects beyond the individual sufferer; bed partners and family members can also be affected in various ways.
When someone with sleep apnea stops breathing, the brain stops receiving the oxygen it needs, resulting in heart disease, high blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, or learning and/or memory difficulty.
Although Roberta Flack wasn't referring to sleep apnea when she recorded her Grammy award-winning song "Killing Me Softly" back in 1973, the sentiment resonates here too. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that requires taking serious action. Your health, both present and future, is in your hands. Talk to us about treatment and start getting the life-giving and life-saving rest you need.
Now many people would never think to go to a dentist to address a sleep apnea problem. The truth is, dentists can be highly trained in sleep apnea as it has everything to do with your mouth, jaw and surrounding areas. In the past, the only solution was a CPAP. This is a machine that continually forces air into your lungs. Now, there are simple appliances that you wear that will help solve this problem.