Sleep apnea is a condition that is becoming increasingly common in the United States. It occurs when the upper airway becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep, reducing or completely halting airflow. It is estimated that approximately 22 million Americans are suffering from sleep apnea, and 80% of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea cases are undiagnosed. This disease can be dangerous, and it is on the rise. Why is this the case? Read on to find out why more people are suffering from sleep apnea in Spring Lake.
Why Is Sleep Apnea on the Rise?
Over the past few years, sleep apnea has become much more common. It is believed that this has to do with increased rates of one of the most common risk factors of the condition – obesity! Excessive body way contributes to sleep apnea by causing increased pressure on the upper airways. This leads to collapse and decreased neuromuscular control from fatty deposits.
The global rise in obesity can be explained by more people eating lot of high-calorie, high-fat foods as well as being less physically active. Processed foods containing lots of artificial ingredients, sugar, and salt are often cheaper and easier to ship because they last longer than fresh foods. While they may be good for your wallet, they are detrimental for your health! By eating a nutritious diet and staying active, you can reduce your risk for sleep apnea and other harmful conditions.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Here are a few things that are often done to reduce the severity of sleep apnea:
- Lifestyles Changes: If a patient only has mild sleep apnea, it can sometimes be treated with lifestyle changes. Losing weight, abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, and sleeping in alternative positions can be effective.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): This treatment involves the patient wearing a mask over their nose while they sleep. The mask is hooked up to a machine that delivers a constant flow of air into the nose. This helps to keep the airways open so breathing is made easier.
- Oral Appliances: Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea who are unable to tolerate or get relief from CPAP may find an oral appliance effective. They are constructed by a dentist and worn in the mouth at night. Generally, they place the jaw in a forward position in order to maintain an open airway.
Though sleep apnea is on the rise, it doesn’t have to affect you and your health. By taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk!
About the Author
Dr. Edward J. Dooley is an experienced dentist who has been working in the dental field for nearly four decades. He is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry, and he is experienced in treating sleep apnea using custom-made oral appliances. For more information on sleep apnea or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (732) 974-2288.