ABOUT OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA

Have you ever been told that you sometimes stop breathing while asleep, or that your snoring is interrupted by pauses, gasps and snorting noises? These are all signs that you may be suffering from sleep apnea. This condition can be extremely disruptive and frustrating to a bed partner, and can also be quite harmful to your health.

  • An apnea is the suspension of breathing
  • Each stoppage in breath results in drops in blood oxygen levels
  • Patients may have dozens to hundreds of apneas each night
  • The sleeper is momentarily startled awake, but may not remember
  • The body’s nervous system triggers a stress response to resume breathing after each apnea event
  • An apnea is the suspension of breathing
  • Each stoppage in breath results in drops in blood oxygen levels
  • Patients may have dozens to hundreds of apneas each night
  • The sleeper is momentarily startled awake, but may not remember
  • The body’s nervous system triggers a stress response to resume breathing after each apnea event

SYMPTOMS

The ongoing release of stress hormones and repeated instantaneous awakenings throughout the night rob sleep apnea suffers of the benefits of restorative rest. Though they are sleep deprived, many sufferers have no idea how severe their condition is, and believe they are sleeping soundly through the night.

There are immediately recognizable effects, however, which can include:

  • An ongoing sense of listlessness, irritability or depression
  • Awakening in the morning with a sort throat or a headache
  • Decreased visual acuity
  • Experiencing sudden unexplained awakenings during the night
  • Nodding off when sitting or driving
  • Poor memory or an inability to maintain mental focus
  • Poor performance at work or school

HEALTH RISK

In addition to these immediate symptoms, sleep apnea can create long-term health problems, and increase the risk of developing a number of conditions.

  • Cardiovascular disease, including stroke
  • Gastric reflux disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk for a range of cancers
  • Increased weight gain
  • Thyroid problems
  • Type two diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease, including stroke
  • Gastric reflux disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk for a range of cancers
  • Increased weight gain
  • Thyroid problems
  • Type two diabetes

ABOUT SNORING

As many as half of adults snore nightly, and about half of those who snore nightly actually have obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when a person’s airways are obstructed during sleep, causing them to make the harsh sounds that many of us know all too well. Some important facts about snoring:

  • Those who are at the most risk for snoring are males and people who are overweight.
  • While many men snore, snoring is still a problem affecting both genders
  • As people age, the effects of snoring increase drastically, creating breathing problems for them during the night
  • Snoring may or may not be associated with sleep apnea, but that it’s necessary for health reasons to determine first if a person has sleep apnea
  • If you experience “benign snoring,” which is snoring without sleep apnea, then the treatment plan may be different. In any event, we can still provide relief.
  • Those who are at the most risk for snoring are males and people who are overweight.
  • While many men snore, snoring is still a problem affecting both genders
  • As people age, the effects of snoring increase drastically, creating breathing problems for them during the night
  • Snoring may or may not be associated with sleep apnea, but that it’s necessary for health reasons to determine first if a person has sleep apnea
  • If you experience “benign snoring,” which is snoring without sleep apnea, then the treatment plan may be different. In any event, we can still provide relief.

OSA DIAGNOSIS

A sleep physician must then interpret the results of the sleep test, and a doctor will subsequently prescribe the treatment options. Our team works closely with local sleep doctors, as well as your family doctor, to coordinate care if an oral appliance is necessary.

Our office offers a home sleep study. We instruct the patient on how to begin the study at the start of sleep, end the study when awake in the morning, and then return to us for interpretation. We also refer cases to a hospital-based sleep lab.”

  • Once the data is reviewed, you will receive an apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) number.
  • The sleep study will reveal how many times you experienced hypopnea, which is shallow breathing, and apnea, the stoppage of breath.
  • These two events are examined to create what is known as the AHI.
  • Depending on that AHI score, the severity of your OSA will be determined and relevant treatment options will be discussed.

WEST PENNSYLVANIA DENTAL SLEEP MEDICINE

WEST PENNSYLVANIA DENTAL SLEEP MEDICINE

300 Walnut Place South, Beaver PA, 15009
724-774-0383 -or- 888-845-4624