- Obstructive Sleep Apnea Risks
- Orofacial Anatomy
- Am I At Risk for Sleep Apnea?
- How Can I Get Better Sleep?
- What if I Think a Loved One Might Have Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is one of the biggest causes of sleep loss for many people. In addition to simply getting a lack of sleep, however, there are also several serious health risks and other concerns associated with sleep apnea, such as:
- Driving and work-related accidents
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Sudden cardiac death
- Memory loss
- Morning headaches
- Impaired concentration
- Decreased sex drive
Because there are many serious risks related to sleep apnea, getting treatment is extremely important. If you think you or someone you love may be suffering from sleep apnea, please contact us today. We can answer any questions you may have, and can help you schedule a consultation with Dr. Edward Shukovsky.
As seen in this diagram, with normal orofacial anatomy, the airway is not blocked by the tongue or soft palate, allowing for easy breathing through the nose. When the tongue and soft palate partially block the airway, they vibrate as air tries to pass through, resulting in snoring. If these structures relax completely and block the airway, air cannot pass through, causing Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?
Although sleep apnea can affect people of any gender, age, or ethnic background, there are several factors that can potentially put a person at a higher risk for developing the condition. Some of these common characteristics include:
- Large tonsils and/or tongue
- Over the age of 40
- Large neck (17+ inches for men; 16+ inches for women)
- Family history of sleep apnea
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- Nasal obstruction due to sinus issues, allergies, and/or a deviated septum
What if I Think a Loved One Might Have Sleep Apnea?
In most cases, individuals who suffer from sleep apnea are unaware of the condition. It is actually usually a loved one who notices snoring and other common symptoms, such as pauses in breath and/or gasping for breath while sleeping. If you observe a family member or close friend exhibiting any of the signs of sleep apnea, it is critical to advise them to see their doctor and request a sleep test as soon as possible. Dr. Shukovsky is a board-certified Diplomate of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA) and can provide patients with a convenient at-home sleep test kit. Once the sleep test has been completed, the data is reviewed by one of the sleep medicine doctors who work closely with Dr. Shukovsky. If the patient is diagnosed with sleep apnea, Dr. Shukovsky can offer them several solutions to get better sleep. Even if it is determined that the patient does not have sleep apnea, Dr. Shukovsky can provide snoring remedies, if needed.
How Can I Get Better Sleep?
If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep each night, there are certain useful routines and habits (often referred to as “sleep hygiene”) that may be able to help. However, if you are still unable to get the sleep you need, please contact us to learn more about obstructive sleep apnea or schedule a consultation with Dr. Shukovsky.