Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019 at 9:48 pm
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes an individual to stop breathing for short periods while they are asleep. If you have sleep apnea, you are not taking in enough oxygen while you sleep, which can cause you to wake up gasping for air.
In many instances of sleep apnea, people are unaware that they have stopped breathing. They may believe their sleep cycle is completely normal as sleep apnea can sound like snoring.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to many health conditions, including mental health issues, poor immune function, increased risk of heart failure, and memory loss. While sleep apnea cannot be completely cured, it can be treated.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms and Warning Signs
Sleep apnea can even shorten your lifespan, so it is critical that you have it diagnosed and treated as soon as you experience symptoms. There are a number of warning signs and symptoms associated with sleep apnea, including but not limited to:
- Loud and persistent snoring
- Gasping or choking sounds
- Lack of energy during the day
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
- Frequent bathroom visits
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood changes and irritability
- Decreased interest in sex
If you think you have sleep apnea, consult with your doctor about treatment options. Individuals who make lifestyle changes and use oral appliances have experienced an improved quality of sleep.
Oral Appliances Can Help
Oral appliances can alleviate the symptoms of mild to moderate sleep apnea. The oral devices are designed to position the lower jaw slightly forward and down, opening the airway. These devices are simple to use and ultra-portable if you need to get a good night’s sleep while traveling.
By treating your sleep apnea with an oral appliance, you may reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It will help you get a good night’s sleep, which will improve your daytime alertness, mood, and concentration level.
Many patients prefer oral appliances because they are so easy to wear. For most patients, it takes a few weeks to get used to sleeping with one. Traveling with your oral appliance is easy. Unlike CPAP, oral appliances can fit in a small bag.
Contact Dr. Brown and the OSA Team
If you are experiencing the sleep apnea symptoms mentioned in this article, contact our knowledgeable and helpful OSA team as soon as possible. We have the solutions that will help you get a better night’s sleep that is free from the harmful impact of sleep apnea. The sooner you call us, the better it will be for your overall health and wellbeing. Call us today at (631) 983-2463 today.
Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019 at 3:07 pm
Many people across all walks of life suffer from sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea go through periods in the sleep cycle where they stop breathing, or take extremely shallow breaths.
Not only does sleep apnea affect the quality of sleep you get and your alertness the next day, but it has been linked to a number of health issues including stroke, chronic heart failure, high blood pressure, and other issues.
Sleep apnea sufferers are often surprised to learn that some of their favorite athletes also have dealt with the issue. Fortunately, many athletes are willing to share their stories and raise awareness about this concerning health issue.
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most well-known athletes in the world. Shaq is open about his struggle with sleep apnea. He met with Harvard sleep specialists and underwent an overnight sleep study to monitor his breathing habits. O’Neal published a video documenting the affair and is an advocate for sleep apnea awareness.
NFL athletes who suffered from sleep apnea include the late Reggie White, who unfortunately passed away prematurely after a battle with the disorder. His death prompted his friend and fellow NFL legend Warren Sapp to seek treatment, and Sapp now raises awareness through the Sleep Apnea Prevention project.
Studies have suggested that a significant number of NFL players have at least a minor form of sleep apnea. Baltimore Ravens player Ryan Jensen says in an interview on ABC News that being diagnosed with sleep apnea “…saved my career.”
Many athletes (and particularly NFL players) have larger necks than the average person. This is often due to weightlifting and carrying the size and mass that is needed to perform on the field. According to the National Institutes of Health, having a thicker neck can contribute to the thickening of one’s windpipe. A thicker windpipe means that it’s harder for air to pass through, even when the muscles are relaxed and especially when the person is asleep. This might explain why sleep apnea is so prevalent in football players.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Even if you’re not an elite athlete, there are solutions for sleep apnea that can greatly improve your sleep and your overall health. Contact Dr. Brown and the OSA team at (631) 983-2463 to schedule an appointment to address your sleep apnea concerns today.