Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects your sleep, health and quality of life. Dr. Faryl Hart is passionate about helping people getting diagnosed and treated for possible obstructive sleep apnea. She was her first patient for an oral appliance to treat her obstructive sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a medical condition caused by your tongue and throat muscles relaxing which causes your airway to get smaller.
What are Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
OSA can have symptoms of snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness or interruption in breathing while sleeping. Ninety percent of loud snorers have OSA.
Will Sleep Apnea Go Away If Left Untreated?
If you have untreated OSA you can have an eight –ten times greater risk of a heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. The reason OSA affects your heart is that when you stop breathing throughout the night your heart has to work harder to get enough oxygen.
Lack of sleep could be more dangerous for women than men
According to a study from the University of Warwick performed by Michelle Miller, women who get less than eight hours of sleep a night are at higher risk of heart disease and heart-related problems than men with the same sleeping patterns.
Even one hour less causes significant changes in two markers that are predictive of future coronary heart disease and cardiovascular morbidity. Inflammatory mechanisms may play a role in the cardiovascular risk associated with sleep deprivation.
Further studies are required to determine the cause, but the results are indicative that sleeping eight hours per night appears to be optimal for health.
- Sleep apnea is the #1 identifiable (and treatable) cause of high blood pressure or hypertension, according to the Joint National Committee on High Blood Pressure.
- Sleep apnea is a major cause of obesity.
- Women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have up to a thirty times greater risk of having sleep apnea.
- There are more motor vehicle accidents caused by sleep disorders than there are from alcohol and drugs combined.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
A sleep study is needed to diagnose a sleep disorder. Dr. Hart refers her patients to a Board Certified Sleep Specialists.
Mandibular advancement devices (MAD) are dental devices used to maintain your airway. The Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine recommends a MAD for mild to moderate sleep apnea due to compliance. Most people are able to get used to a MAD for their sleep apnea (90%) versus only 30 % of patients can tolerate a C-PAP to maintain their airway.
Epworth Sleepiness Scale
Answer the questions below to find out if you might be at risk of having OSA
1 slight chance of dozing
2 moderate chance of dozing
3 high chance of dozingA score of 10 or greater indicates a possible sleep disorder.
- sitting and reading
- watching TV
- sitting inactive in a public place (i.e. theater or a meeting)
- as a passenger in a car for an hour without a break
- lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit
- sitting and talking to someone
- sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol
- in a car , while stopping for a few minutes in traffic
Please share your self-assessment of Epworth Sleepiness scale with Dr. Hart