The engineer of a commuter train that slammed into a station going double the 10 mph speed limit, killing a woman, suffered from undiagnosed sleep apnea, his lawyer said Wednesday, and a U.S. official told The Associated Press that investigators are looking at it as a potential cause.
They say you should get at least eight hours of sleep per day. But if you’re constantly waking up in the morning with headaches, fatigue, irritability, or you’re spouse is relentlessly complaining about your snoring … the call for concern might rest on your quality of sleep rather than how much. Sleep apnea is a serious disorder.
Despite over 18 million Americans having signs of sleep apnea, only about 25% seek medical attention. Sleep apnea is highly undiagnosed even though treatment is simple. If you’re finding yourself still tired when you wake up or you’re being hounded by your spouse for snoring – it might be time to call our dental office in Franklin Lakes for a sleep apnea consultation.
You may be wondering how a dental office can help you to stop snoring and help correct your breathing during the night. First let’s dive into a few details about sleep apnea first…
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is one of the more serious sleeping disorders and it has to do with an obstructed airway, causing your breathing to pause during sleep. The pause in breathing is not always a one time occurrence during the night – it can happen several hundreds of times. Yes, you read that correct. Are you seeing the seriousness of the situation yet? Lack of oxygen to your brain can have major long-term health consequences.
There are two kinds of sleep apnea to be aware of; obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). OSA – (most common) is when your airway is blocked by soft tissue located in the back of the throat as you doze off. Central sleep apnea is a disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. CSA, is not a result of a blocked airway but rather more serious, is when your brain works less effective. With the lack of oxygen, your brain can no longer send the right signals to your lungs. The lack of efficiency in breathing results in an unstable respiratory control center.
Effects of sleep apnea
It’s best to seek treatment for sleep apnea right away. Left untreated, this can result in a wide range of associated health problems. Sleep apnea health problems include:
- high blood pressure,
- an increased risk of stroke,
- heart problems such as irregular heartbeats,
- heart attacks and even heart failure,
- a nagging feeling of depression,
- and headaches.
In fact, if left untreated, sleep apnea might affect your daily performance.
How do I diagnose sleep apnea?
Your partner might be the first to notice… and the first sign is the deafening sound of your snoring (or your partner’s snoring). Either way it’s best for you to get a proper diagnosis for sleep apnea treatment.
Diagnosis is as easy as requesting an at home sleep test provided by our office. The next course of action will largely depend on your results.
How to cure sleep apnea
Some general cures for sleep apnea are as easy as lifestyle changes. It might be time to hit the treadmill, lose some weight, change your sleep positions for better breathing, or ditching the cigarettes.
The more serious cases of sleep apnea might need you to go through Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy or even surgery. If you don’t fancy the idea of wearing a mask while sleeping or going under the knife, our office can provide an alternative treatment.
Oral or dental appliances have the ability to cure sleep apnea and snoring by maintaining an open airway while you sleep. The custom-made oral appliance is worn as you retire for the night. It fits the same as that of an orthodontic retainer.
An oral appliance supports your jaw by ensuring it remains in a forward position. This keeps the upper airway unblocked. Best of all, it’s a snap to wear, needs no electricity, is quiet and portable. This allows you to bring it on your travels to ensure you get a quality eight hours of sleep.
Click here to request a consultation so you can manage your snoring… your spouse will thank you.