Sleep Apnea San Francisco
Most of us don’t think of snoring as something to be overly concerned about. However, frequent loud snoring is not only a health issue but it can also be a sign of sleep apnea. Millions of people suffer from sleep apnea, a constriction of the airway from collapsing throat tissues and/or the tongue blocking the airway during sleep.
Even though sleep apnea is treatable, it often goes unrecognized, which can be dangerous and detrimental to your health, making it vital to visit your Sleep Apnea expert if you suspect that you or a loved one might have sleep apnea, or sleep disordered breathing (SDB).
Sleep Apnea and Undiagnosed Statistics
Between 18 million and 20 million people in the United States suffer from sleep apnea. Of those who suffer from sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing, up to 90% go undiagnosed or untreated—it can prove to be deadly.
A majority of patients suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea, and are non-compliant to CPAP Therapy. While CPAP is considered to be the gold standard in treating sleep apnea, the compliance rate is still well below 50%.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder that prevents airflow during sleep, and occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses temporarily blocking the airway. When this happens, it keeps air from getting into the lungs, and when your blood-oxygen level drops low enough, the body wakes up. It happens so quickly that the sleeper may not even remember the arousal.
Subconsciously waking up hundreds of times a night disrupts normal sleep patterns and can make a person feel extremely tired and un-refreshed the next day. The frequently associated snoring creates health issues and, in addition, even disrupts the normal sleep patterns of those in your household.
Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)
Another reason you may be tired all the time is upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). Unlike sleep apnea, UARS has only recently begun getting attention. Resistance refers to the fact that there is slowing or blockage of air in the nasal passages. The most common causes of UARS are mild nasal congestion or tongue positioning during sleep, which blocks breathing. Due to this resistance in the upper airway, your body works harder to perform the simple act of breathing, which leads to a disruption in sleep throughout the night. UARS is also extremely common in older women.
Negative Effects of Sleep Apnea
More than 12 million people in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea, but may not seek treatment. And, while many might not even realize they have sleep apnea, it is important to seek diagnosis and treatment to prevent further complications.
When sleep apnea goes untreated, patients are more likely to suffer from strokes, heart problems and high blood pressure, as well as a higher incidence of work and driving-related accidents. There is even an association of sleep apnea with Alzheimer’s disease, depression, erectile dysfunction, GERD, and acid reflux. The risk of sleep apnea increases with additional body weight because excess tissue in the back of the throat can narrow and block the airway even more.
By visiting Dr. Greg Larson at San Francisco Center for TMJ and Sleep Apnea, non-compliant CPAP users can be treated for snoring and sleep apnea with a comfortable custom-made oral appliance to help open your airway. Patients no longer need to lose sleep over snoring or sleep apnea in San Francisco.
Change your sleep patterns and overall wellbeing by contacting us at San Francisco Center for TMJ and Sleep Apnea to discuss available treatment options.