Sleep Apnea - Understanding Why It's Important

Author: Dr. Gary Huber

Date: Jul, 2016

People make jokes like "he snores like a freight train" but the impact to the patient and spouse is severe. Sleep apnea is a signal that your heart is in trouble.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a temporary blockage of the airway, an interruption in breathing, that may last for 30 seconds or more. This creates tremendous stress to the body and a host of reflex responses of great significance. Most people with OSA have no idea that they are experiencing it yet it affects 4 – 5% of the population.

 

Symptoms: The most common obstructive sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
  • Dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, depression, or irritability
  • Night sweats
  • Restlessness during sleep
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Snoring
  • Sudden awakenings with a sensation of gasping or choking
  • Difficulty getting up in the mornings

Cause OSA has been shown to decrease alertness and daytime sleepiness to such levels that it is now proven to cause more motor vehicle accident deaths in America than drunk drivers!

 

So What’s At Stake

  1. Brain: When oxygen delivery is interrupted it damages the brain and studies show that our memory center is significantly affected causing decreased memory and cognitive abilities. . Increased risk for Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia.
  2. Heart: the presence of OSA leads to a 70% increase risk for Cardiovascular Disease, Heart Attacks, Strokes and Congestive Heart Failure. Elevated Cholesterol levels.
  3. Diabetes: one of the leading causes of Adult Onset Type II Diabetes
  4. Gut/Bowel: Acid Reflux Disease (GERD)
  5. Thyroid: reduced function which can affect every organ in your body
  6. Mood & Energy: Chronic Fatigue and Depression

 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea if not treated, can reduce overall life span by 20%.

 

We are in pursuit of your ideal health: "Increased quality of life, enhance vitality and energy, and increased longevity that is characterized by robust health and wellness." This goal is not achievable, if a person does not enjoy good quality sleep. A balanced sleep cycle includes adequate deep sleep, which is where the body finds its ability to rejuvenate, heal, restore our immune system, and prepare for coming days challenges.

Following the recommendation of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine we are providing you the sleep questionnaire to assess your individual risk for OSA. If significant risk is demonstrated then we are strongly urging you to submit to a Home Sleep Test to uncover potential reversible issues. This home-based study is easy to employ and can detect damaging drops on oxygen levels that occur while sleeping. Left untreated, we know that these repeated drops cause life altering pathology that will erode the quality of your life.

 

Treatment Options

Sleep apnea may be judged to be mild, moderate or severe, leading to different treatment options. Treatment of “severe” OSA may involve use of Positive Air Pressure devices (CPAP, APAP or BPAP) which maintain an open airway continuously all night. Mild to moderate cases of OSA, treatment can be treated comfortably through the use of a nighttime dental appliance that works to gently reposition the jaw and tongue forward during sleep, thereby increasing the diameter of your airway throughout the night. These appliances will also significantly help in Severe OSA patients who do not tolerate use of the PAP devices.

 

Cost

The cost of having a Home Sleep Test performed in the comfort of your own bedroom is $350. With insurance coverage, your cost would only be about $100. For our patients without medical insurance or have a high out of network deductible, we have reduced the fee to $250 in effort to encourage your testing. This cost of this test is negligible compared to the price you will pay if sleep apnea is allowed to compromise your overall health. Studying and protecting your sleep pattern is a tremendous investment in your long-term health but also in the immediate quality of your present day-to-day life. The results of your Home Sleep Study will allow me to direct you towards the proper treatment for your level of OSA if it exists. It is my desire to uncover problems before they cause you harm and to always work towards your discovery of your ideal health.