Posted on Wednesday, July 7th, 2021 at 6:57 pm
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is characterized by periods where an individual’s breathing randomly stops and then starts back up again. There are different classifications of sleep apnea, the most common being obstructive sleep apnea. Other sleep apnea disorders include central sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea syndrome. Although there are different sleep apnea disorders, in general, most cases of sleep apnea result in a person’s breathing repeatedly stopping and starting again through the night. This disruption in breathing can wake a person up multiple times during the night, cause them to choke or gasp suddenly, and generally prevents them from getting a full and healthy night’s sleep.
While the major complaint about sleep apnea is that an individual feels fatigued the next day, the condition can trigger must more significant health problems. Sleep apnea is linked to low blood oxygen levels, high blood pressure, and heart problems. The condition can also increase a person’s risk for developing diabetes, eye problems such as glaucoma, and certain metabolic syndromes. In short, sleep apnea is more than just not getting a good night’s sleep. It is a disorder that needs to be taken seriously and treated immediately.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea happens when there is some type of blockage obstructing an individual’s airway. This blockage could be a result of a deviated septum in the nose or the relaxation of certain throat muscles. The most common sign of sleep apnea is snoring. Other signs include:
- Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Morning headaches
- Changes in mood or irritability
- Nighttime sweating
- Observed periods of breathing that stops (could be caught by the individual or their partner)
- Decreased libido
Another less talked about symptom of sleep apnea is teeth grinding. Many people don’t associate grinding their teeth with sleep apnea, which can mean that the condition goes undiagnosed. The Sleep Foundation reports that there may be a link between obstructive sleep apnea and a condition known as bruxism, or teeth grinding.
Teeth Grinding and Sleep Apnea
Some medical studies have closely examined the possible connection between sleep apnea and teeth grinding. While there seems to be a correlation between the two conditions, there is still no clear explanation for why teeth grinding and sleep apnea are linked. One of the most prominent theories about the connection between the conditions is that sleep apnea triggers bruxism. It is hypothesized that when an airway becomes obstructed, the muscles in the mouth and jaw move to try and reopen the blocked airway. This muscle movement may trigger teeth grinding.
Another possibility is that clenching and grinding may help to lubricate the tissues of the mouth and the back of the throat, which become dried out due to sleep apnea. Other theories indicate that the anxiety and stress that the body undergoes when it stops breathing may cause the body to inadvertently clench or grind.
Signs of Bruxism
Some of the most classic signs that you may be a “teeth grinder” include:
- Tooth pain
- Fractured, chipped, or loose teeth
- Worn tooth enamel
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Jaw pain
- Facial pain
- Neck pain
- Popping or pain in the jaw joint or temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
- Other sleep disturbances
If you have any of these issues, know you are a teeth grinder or have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, it is time to talk to a professional. The New York OSA experts of Silent Night Therapy are a dedicated sleep team that can review your symptoms and direct you toward the right diagnosis and treatment for your condition.
You don’t have to live in pain or feel like you’ve been drained of energy before your day has even begun. Call us today at 631-983-2463, and let’s work together to get you a better night’s sleep.
Posted on Wednesday, December 30th, 2020 at 12:46 am
The quantity and quality of sleep you get each night has a profound effect on your overall health. You may not realize it, but getting a good night’s sleep can have a major impact on your stress levels, blood pressure, and cardiovascular fitness.
The most common sleep disorders that Americans experience are sleep apnea and insomnia. Scientists believe that up to 25% of American adults suffer from sleep apnea or insomnia. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to breathe more shallowly and more irregularly while you sleep. This is caused by tissues in the mouth and throat that block the airway. People who suffer from sleep apnea often wake up in the morning still feeling tired and groggy.
The Journal of the American Heart Association recently published a study that found that in a study of 500 women, those who suffered from sleep disorders had worse eating habits than others. Those who did not get enough quality sleep tended to eat more food in general, and more foods with added sugars. Diet is linked very closely to the risk of developing cardiovascular problems down the road. People who overeat or are obese are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Another study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found evidence that suggests that people who sleep irregularly are more likely to develop heart disease. Conversely, the participants who had regular bedtimes and more consistent sleep durations were less likely to develop heart disease.
These studies do not conclusively link poor sleep habits to a decline in cardiovascular health, but they do suggest that there is a connection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked poor sleep with Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, all of which can contribute to cardiovascular problems.
Make an Appointment With Silent Night Therapy
If you are worried that your sleeping patterns put you at a higher risk of developing more severe health problems, call Silent Night Therapy to put your mind at ease. Our sleep specialists will work with you to find the source of your disruptive sleep, whether it is insomnia, sleep apnea, or another issue. Please give us a call at (631) 983-2463 or contact us online.
Posted on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 at 12:53 am
Researchers have discovered a connection between epilepsy and obstructive sleep apnea, also referred to as OSA. A 2018 article from Practical Neurology explains this connection. The authors of the article, Michelle L. Dougherty, MD and Karin G. Johnson, MD, argue that epilepsy can affect sleep apnea and that the converse is true as well.
Dougherty and Johnson wrote in the article that epileptic seizures can disrupt a person’s sleep habits. Additionally, anti-seizure medications may also diminish the possibility of healthy sleep. This is because some of these medications are muscle relaxants, which can impact the upper airway. And other medicines cause weight gain; obesity is a contributing factor to OSA.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when your upper respiratory structure repeatedly collapses during sleep. This causes repetitive disrupted sleep, snoring, trouble breathing, and the inability to deliver oxygen to the brain. Sleep apnea often leaves the patient feeling groggy the next morning and foggy throughout the day.
An article from Neurology Today argues that people with generalized epilepsy are often at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea than people with focal epilepsy, which is characterized by seizures that affect one part of the brain. The article also states that people with epilepsy and undiagnosed sleep apnea are at a higher risk of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Matthew T. Scharf, MD, Ph.D., one of the doctors who authored the study, said epilepsy patients should always be screened for sleep disorders.
Despite the studies, doctors are still not sure how exactly epilepsy affects sleep apnea and, conversely, how sleep apnea affects epilepsy. However, they have uncovered sufficient evidence to connect the two, and now many doctors advocate for more sleep disorder screenings in people with epilepsy.
Make an Appointment With Silent Night Therapy
If you have epilepsy and believe you should be screened for a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, please do not hesitate to reach out to Silent Night Therapy. Our sleep specialists have the tools and expertise to diagnose your sleep problems and help find practical solutions that fit your lifestyle. If you prefer to do an at-home sleep study, we can provide you with a kit mailed straight to your door. Please give us a call at (631) 983-2463 or contact us online.
Posted on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 at 10:33 pm
You may have heard of the latest celebrity trend called “sleep divorce.” When one or both parts of a couple find that they cannot sleep in the same bed together, for any number of reasons, they choose to sleep in separate beds. For some, this is the only way they can save their relationship and their circadian rhythm.
Carson Daly became the latest celebrity to join the trend. Daly announced on the Today Show that he and his wife got “sleep divorced.” Daly has severe sleep apnea and uses a CPAP machine to help him breathe at night. His wife, pregnant with their fourth child, found that she couldn’t sleep next to him because the CPAP machine made too much noise.
Dr. Oz says sleeping in separate beds might work for some couples, but it’s something they should only try on a trial basis. Try sleeping in separate beds, but in the same room, three nights a week, to see how it feels, Oz says. “Invest in your sleep, and you’ll be investing in your relationship. You can’t shortcut that,” he said.
Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Waking up to choking or gasping
- Waking up with a dry or sore throat
- Daytime sleepiness, mood changes, decreased libido, or forgetfulness
If left untreated, sleep apnea could prove to be highly dangerous. If you have sleep apnea, your breathing is being interrupted continuously while you sleep, blocking the flow of oxygen to your brain. This could lead to more significant health issues down the road, including physical and mental impairment.
Fortunately, there are other methods for treating sleep apnea that doesn’t involve sleeping in separate rooms or beds, or using loud CPAP machines. Dr. Brown and the team at Silent Night Therapy can help you find the solution that is right for you, including potentially using an oral sleep appliance to help treat harmful and disruptive sleep apnea.
Contact the OSA Team at Silent Night Therapy
If you or your partner is experiencing sleep apnea, get in touch with a specialist like Dr. Brown at Silent Night Therapy. Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, and we’ll be here to find the solution that will help you get it. Schedule your complimentary consultation with us by calling (631) 983-2463 or by filling out a contact form today.
Posted on Wednesday, September 4th, 2019 at 4:48 pm
Have you ever wondered if you’re perhaps genetically predisposed to develop sleep apnea? Perhaps your father, grandfather, or another family member snores and has experienced negative health effects as a result of sleep apnea. You might be concerned that you will develop the condition as well, and likely are wondering what you can do to treat it.
While it is possible that your genetics place you at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea, there is never a guarantee that you will experience it at some point in your life. Rather, the traits you’ve inherited from your family members will likely impact whether or not you experience this and other sleep issues. Some traits include:
- A family history of obesity
- Allergies, asthma, or other breathing problems
- Upper airway tissue problems
Also, studies have shown that individuals in specific ethnic groups might be predisposed to sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people of Hispanic, African, and Pacific Islander heritage are more likely to develop sleep apnea than individuals in other ethnic groups.
Inherited Physical Characteristics Can Play a Role
While sleep disorders like sleep apnea themselves might not be inherited, the physical characteristics that your family passes down could play a significant part. For example, people with the following physical traits are more likely to develop sleep apnea:
- Narrow nostrils, sinuses, or nasal passages
- Receding chin
- Small jawline
- Oversized tonsils, uvula, or tongue
- High and narrow arch of the palate
If these physical characteristics run in your family, you could be at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea at some point in your life. If sleep apnea runs in your family, don’t stress about it too much. Just because your grandfather suffered from it is not a guarantee that you will as well.
Instead, you should pay attention to environmental and lifestyle factors that you can control, like eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise. By staying healthy, you can reduce your risk of developing sleep apnea and many other chronic illnesses that you could potentially be genetically predisposed to.
Are You Suffering From Sleep Apnea? We Can Help
If you suffer from sleep apnea, don’t despair. While you might be genetically predisposed to developing this disorder, it is treatable. The OSA experts at Silent Night Therapy have helped countless people just like you find solutions that will help them get a restful night’s sleep. Contact Dr. Brown and our OSA team at (631) 983-2463 to discuss how we can help you today.
Posted on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 at 4:44 am
An estimated 50% of all people will have an issue with snoring at some point during their lives. Snoring can become more prevalent as you get older, and is typically more common in men (40 percent of the population). However, 24 percent of women are also habitual snorers. For the most part, mild snoring—though potentially annoying to your spouse of partner—is harmless, but it can be a symptom of a far larger problem: obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when an individual temporarily stops breathing while asleep and can happen between four and 30 times every hour depending on the individual.
For men, heavy snoring and sleep apnea may put them at an increased risk of hypertension, angina, stroke, and neuropsychologic dysfunction.
One method of treating sleep apnea is nocturnal oxygen therapy. In theory, nocturnal oxygen therapy should be beneficial by improving oxygenation and relievint tissue hypoxia, however, the results have been mixed, and in some cases oxygen may be harmful to your health.
Theory vs. Reality
The idea of giving patients suffering from sleep apnea oxygen during the night seems logical on the surface. Repeated pauses in breathing lowers oxygen levels in the blood during the night; thereby, giving the patient supplemental oxygen through a plastic tubing called a nasal cannula should stabilize oxygen levels and decrease the risk of future medical problems that are common in people with severe sleep apnea.
Unfortunately, supplemental oxygen has mixed, and in some cases, dangerous results. While the oxygen level in the blood does improve, the effect on the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) has been found to be negligible and severe drowsiness during the daytime—a common side effect of sleep apnea—doesn’t improve. Additionally, supplemental oxygen doesn’t target the high and dangerous levels of excess carbon dioxide that form during the night.
There are instances where supplemental oxygen is beneficial. Individuals suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) like emphysema without also suffering from sleep apnea have benefited from oxygen during the night. But when oxygen is used without relieving the airway obstruction that so often causes heavy snoring and sleep apnea, carbon dioxide levels increase resulting in patients waking up feeling confused or with serious headaches.
Sleep apnea is often caused by the collapse of tissues of the upper airway partially or even completely closing the throat. If this isn’t treated through bilevel therapy or in some cases surgery, oxygen will not reach the lungs.
Contact the Sleep Experts at Silent Night Therapy Today
If you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, be sure to seek treatment right away and get a better night’s sleep. Dr. Brown and the OSA team are here to help those with a history of snoring, who have obstructive sleep apnea, and those who can’t tolerate wearing a CPAP. Our team can diagnose and treat your sleep apnea with the use of effective oral appliances. Call us at (631) 983-2463 to schedule a consultation with us today.
Posted on Friday, February 1st, 2019 at 2:13 pm
Sleep apnea affects more than 18 million people in the United States and is defined as abnormal breathing that happens while an individual is asleep. Sleep apnea is more common with men than women, particularly in Hispanic and African American populations. Other risk factors include being obese and over the age of 40, although sleep apnea can occur in individuals of any age, including children.
Despite widespread awareness of this disease, there are people who still remain undiagnosed and unaware that they have this severe condition. If left untreated, sleep apnea is linked to serious health issues, such as high blood pressure, depression, stroke, obesity, cancer, and even diabetes.
There are three main types of sleep apnea, which include:
Obstructive sleep apnea: This is the most common type of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your upper airway is blocked during sleep. This can result in the chest muscles and diaphragm working harder to open the blocked airways to let air go through the lungs. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause irregular heart rhythms as well as reduce the flow of oxygen to vital organs. Most individuals are not aware that this is occurring while they sleep during the night.
Central sleep apnea: Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain cannot send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. However, central sleep apnea doesn’t cause blockages in the airway. There is a disconnection that happens between the brain and the muscles that control breathing and it causes this particular type of sleep apnea.
Complex sleep apnea: This type is also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea. Complex sleep apnea happens when a person has a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. A person who previously had OSA develops central sleep apnea because of treatment received and with the constant use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device.
Major symptoms of sleep apnea can include loud snoring, dry mouth, headaches, and sleepiness during the day, waking up consistently during the night, and other symptoms.
If you think you have sleep apnea, participating in a sleep study in a lab or at home can show the cause of your sleep disruption. Sleep apnea can be effectively diagnosed, and there are many effective treatment options available. Contact Silent Night Therapy by calling us at 631-983-2463 for more information about treatments.
Posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2018 at 7:23 am
A May 2018 study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that 56 percent of 1,052 participants who completed a National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) sleep module were estimated to be at high risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Only 8 percent of the high‐risk individuals had been tested for OSA despite 94 percent of those individuals being diagnosed with OSA.
The study stated that its purpose was “to determine the proportion of older Americans at risk for OSA in a large, representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries and to characterize the national scope of gaps in OSA evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment in these at‐risk individuals.” The NHATS sleep module is similar to the Snoring-Tired-Observed-Pressure-BMI-Age-Neck-Gender questionnaire commonly abbreviated simply as STOP-BANG.
The study estimated that the 1,052 participants the NHATS sleep module was administered to corresponded to 7,082,963 Medicare beneficiaries. Based on this evaluation, 3,948,716 people, or 56 percent, were believed to be elevated OSA risk.
Of the group, 3,633,571, or 94 percent, had no evaluation. Of the 315,145 who got either polysomnography (PSG) or home sleep apnea testing (HSAT) evaluations, 295,307, or 94 percent, had an OSA diagnosis. Of those diagnosed with OSA, 53,703, or 18 percent, sought no treatment while 241,603 received OSA treatment.
STOP-BANG questionnaires often ask respondents the following:
- Snore — Do you snore loudly? Snoring is perhaps the most common symptom of sleep apnea.
- Tired — Do you feel tired during the day? Fatigue is a common symptom in many sleep apnea cases.
- Observed — Has anybody observed you stopping breathing during sleep? Many people are unaware they may have stopped breathing while sleeping, but a spouse or other loved one may have noticed this very concerning sign.
- Pressure — Have you been or are you being treated for high blood pressure? Sleep apnea can actually cause elevated blood pressure.
- BMI — Is your body mass index more than 35 kg/m2? BMI is a measure of fat based on a person’s height and weight, and overweight individuals are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea.
- Age — Are you older than 50 years of age? A study published by the American Thoracic Society (ATS) stated that sleep-related difficulties become common with age and found the prevalence of sleep apnea to be 3.2 percent in adult men 20 years of age to 44 years of age, 11.3 percent in adult men 45 years of age to 64 years of age, and 18.1 percent in adult men 61 years of age to 100 years of age.
- Neck — Is your neck circumference greater than 16 inches or 41 centimeters if you are a female, or 17 inches or 43 centimeters if you are a male? A larger neck means more potential obstruction for an airway.
- Gender — Are you a man? Men are two to three times more likely than women to have sleep apnea.
The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study found a weighted proportion that was 57 percent female and 43 percent male, with 53 percent of participants being married and 45 percent being unmarried. Of the participants:
- 13 percent were between 65 years of age and 69 years of age
- 30 percent were between 70 years of age and 74 years of age
- 21 percent were between 75 years of age and 79 years of age
- 17 percent were between 80 years of age and 84 years of age
- 12 percent were between 85 years of age and 90 years of age
- 7 percent were 90 years of age or older.
Get OSA Help Today
Silent Night Therapy helps people all over New York with sleep apnea issues. Call (631) 983-2463 or contact us online to see how we can help you, and schedule an appointment with us today.
Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2018 at 4:30 am
Mike Napoli is a professional baseball player who has played for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, and Cleveland Indians over the course of 12 seasons. He was primarily a catcher until 2013 when he became a first baseman and a designated hitter.
As an October 2014 story on the Major League Baseball (MLB) website noted, Napoli had endured a season riddled with minor injuries when he agreed to undergo surgery to correct a sleep apnea problem. In April 2015, Sports Illustrated reported that Napoli, who was 33 years of age at the time of the procedure, had suffered from severe sleep apnea since his early 20s.
According to Sports Illustrated, Dr. Leonard Kaban, Chief of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, reconfigure Napoli’s chin, jaw, and sinuses in a seven-hour procedure called maxillomandibular advancement. “I used to wake up 50 or a hundred times a night,” Napoli told Sports Illustrated. “Now I’m actually sleeping. I’m not tired all the time.”
Sports Illustrated reported that Napoli had all of the classic symptoms of a person with severe sleep apnea: continual fatigue, loud snoring, the absence of dreams, and moments in which he would stop breathing. Sports Illustrated noted that people with severe, untreated obstructive sleep apnea have a two- to-threefold higher risk of premature death than those without the condition.
Napoli told Bleacher Report that he was always scared to go to sleep. He said he used to leave the latch on the door to his hotel room open in case paramedics or emergency personnel needed to get in.
“When I played in Texas, I was always tired,” Napoli told Sports Illustrated. “It got to the point where I would come out of games dizzy. I thought it was my blood sugar, and I tried to play through it.”
Sports Illustrated reported that Napoli only got tested for a sleep disorder because he repeatedly nodded off while driving. He was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea, and was prescribed multiple treatments, including breathing machines, anti-anxiety medication, and mouth guards, but none worked.
When Napoli joined the Red Sox in 2013, Sports Illustrated reported a room inside Fenway Park was set aside for him to rest before games. He finally decided to do something after the 2014 season.
According to Bleacher Report, Napoli’s surgery involved him being in the intensive-care unit for two-and-a-half days and placed on an all-liquid diet for six weeks. Napoli still has plates and screws inside his skull.
Napoli told Bleacher Report that he still does not have any feeling in his lower lip, front teeth, or the roof of his mouth. He was told that could last up to a year, and there is a chance the feeling might never return.
“It’s crazy how I feel,” Napoli told Bleacher Report. “It’s been night and day for me.”
Not all people necessarily require maxillomandibular advancement to address sleep apnea problems. Silent Night Therapy can help you resolve your sleep apnea issues. Let our team see how we can help when you call (631) 983-2463 or contact us online today.
Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2018 at 7:58 pm
The relationship between losing sleep and mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, is well-defined. Research has uncovered a strong correlation between the amount of quality sleep a person gets each night and their level of moodiness. That’s because if you don’t get the recommended seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night, you may not be able to fully function.
Sleep deprivation can affect the emotions we feel each day, and it can lead to mental suffering. Low energy levels, negative outlooks, and a lack of motivation are all likely to develop in individuals who do not sleep well. When it’s difficult to stay positive, your outlook on life may not be very optimistic, and mental health can decline. You may not even realize that a genuine lack of sleep is the source of your low feelings.
The human brain enters different stages of sleep over the course of the night, and each one helps the brain recover for the next day. Chronic sleep disturbances are a classic symptom of depression, but the relationship between the two seems to go both ways. Patients can’t sleep because they’re depressed, but studies show that patients may become depressed because they don’t sleep well. Researchers aren’t sure which symptom feeds the other yet, and more work is being done to determine which condition is the chicken and which is the egg.
Small amounts of sleep deprivation over long periods of time have been proven to be harmful to your general mood and may affect your personal relationships with others. Patients who consistently experience sleep issues may exhibit strong symptoms of depression and anxiety. Persistent feelings of sadness, extreme levels of self-doubt, and personal emptiness are symptoms of depression and anxiety caused by sleep deprivation.
The connection between sleep and mood disorders has been documented over several years in both research and medical applications. Patients who are diagnosed with insomnia are nearly ten times more likely to suffer from depression and seventeen times more likely to develop clinical anxiety. Research also indicates that the more frequently a person wakes up during the night, the greater their chances of having depression and anxiety.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that directly affects a person’s quality of sleep by waking them up frequently for brief moments during the night. People who suffer from this condition may not realize that they have obstructive sleep apnea and an observation is usually necessary to be diagnosed with certainty.
Sleep Night Therapy is determined to maximize successful treatment options for patients who suffer from the debilitating effects of sleep-disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Clifford Brown, who leads our Oral Sleep Appliance team, is a trained professional who belongs to The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and The Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorder Disciplines. If you suffer from a lack of sleep, we are determined to help you overcome this issue. Contact our OSA team today to learn how we can help you sleep better by calling (631) 983-2463.