Baby Boomers are part of the boom in sleep apnea cases. Sleep apnea affects 5-10% of the American population and most of them don’t know they have this sleep breathing disorder.
Snoring, daytime fatigue and weight gain are all signs that someone may be suffering from sleep apnea and, left untreated, sleep apnea can take years off your life.
Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues of the mouth and throat relax during sleep. These tissues collapse back into the throat, blocking the airway and the sleeper stops breathing. This can occur several times each hour – some patients experience hundreds of episodes each night. The body becomes starved for oxygen and briefly wakens the sleeper to begin breathing again. Oxygen levels rise and fall throughout the night and the sleeper never gets the full spectrum of restful sleep their body needs.
These episodes place a great strain on the cardiovascular system and it is not surprising that sleep apnea sufferers who do not treat their disease suffer from high rates of sudden cardiac death, heart disease and stroke.
Weight loss is a huge help in treating sleep apnea, but we all know how difficult this can be. CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure is the most commonly attempted treatment for sleep apnea but unfortunately, a large number of people find it impossible to use the machines.
Oral appliance therapy from a trained sleep apnea dentist has been shown to effectively treat sleep apnea, even in severe cases, when the patient is CPAP intolerant. Find out more about oral appliances by contacting Frederick, MD sleep apnea dentist Dr. Jeffrey W. Cross, today at (301) 662-0300.