OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA:
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
If you are having difficulty falling asleep or sleeping through the night, or if you have a hard time waking up or staying awake during the day, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. And you are not alone. Problems with falling asleep or daytime sleepiness affect approximately 35%-40% of the U.S. adult population annually and are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality.
Sleep Disorders & Adults
According to research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the estimated prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in the United States has increased substantially over the last two decades. Not only are sleep disorders extremely common, but they can also lead to more serious health problems if they remain undiagnosed and untreated.
According to the statistics, 8 or 9 men are diagnosed with apnea for each woman found to have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). However, studies in the general population have shown that the actual ratio is likely to be closer to 2 or 3 men with OSA for each woman who has the condition.
Signs and symptoms commonly associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
(OSA) in adults include:
- Morning Headaches
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness & Fatigue
- Hypertension/High-Blood Pressure
- Heart Attacks or Irregular Heart Beat
- Chronic Fatigue & Weakness
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Jaw Joint Pain & Stiffness/TMJ Disorders
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Nighttime Choking, Coughing or Gasping
- Gastroesophageal Reflex Disease (GERD)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Neck Circumference: 17” for men, 16” for women
- Dizziness & Fainting
- Dry Mouth & Difficulty Swallowing
- Frequent Nighttime Urination
Sleep Disorders & Children
Sleep is especially important for children as it directly impacts mental and physical development, including growth and immune system development.
According to information published in American Family Physician®, from 3%-12% of children are affected by snoring while Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects 1%-10% of children.
Children who have sleep apnea nearly always snore. Unlike adults, however, children who suffer from sleep-disordered breathing may not appear to be excessively sleepy during the day.
Some of the more common signs and symptoms of sleep disorders in children include:
- Mouth Breathing
- Snoring/breathing difficulties while sleeping
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- School Performance Problems
- Not Growing as Quickly as Expected for their Age
- Excessive sweating
- Sleep Terrors, Nightmares or Nighttime fears
- Bedwetting (i.e., Enuresis)
- Enlarged Tonsils or Adenoids
In addition to being an essential component of a child’s overall health and well-being, the focus on children’s sleep quality is also timely public health concern given increasing rates of hyperactivity among today’s kids. In fact, a study published in the journal Pediatrics revealed that a large percentage of children with hyperactivity or inattentive behaviors had underlying sleep-disordered breathing. The authors of the study concluded that these children would be cared for more effectively with appropriate recognition and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing than with the use of stimulant medications.
In sum, quality sleep is an essential component of every child’s health and well-being. Don’t be afraid to talk to us about and ask questions about your child’s sleep habits.
What should you do if you think you or your child may have a sleep disorder?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a potentially life-threatening disorder. Talking with Dr. Bailey, who has a special interest in managing sleep-disordered breathing, is a great first step.
As a dentist, Dr. Bailey examines the airway of every patient she sees and she can screen you for sleep-disordered breathing problems, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Our office can also arrange for you to complete a sleep study, which is required to diagnose – and appropriately manage – Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) if warranted. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. Once diagnosed, we can also provide proven-effective therapies that will enable you to enjoy the health and quality-of-life benefits of deep, refreshing, quality sleep.