Many Americans focus on weight, diet and exercise in efforts to improve their health. These are all essential factors, yet there is one area of our lives that we often overlook, but which can have a profound effect on our well-being: Sleep.
If you are affected by snoring or chronic daytime tiredness – either your own or that of a loved one – having it checked can be an important step in ensuring optimum health. You could be suffering from sleep apnea, a hidden health problem that can have far reaching consequences. Defined as stopping breathing for more than 10 seconds during sleep, sleep apnea is not just snoring, although snoring increases your chances of having sleep apnea. It has been estimated that approximately 1 in 10 Americans have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). They may be men, women or children of any age, with active or inactive lifestyles. Professional football players are 5 times more likely to have or develop OSA. OSA has no discriminatory capability.
The good news is that most of the time the obstruction blocking the breathing is in the upper airway. This means it is your tongue, tonsils, adenoids, and extra tissue in your throat that are blocking the airflow. The solution is simple. If it is your tonsils or adenoids, you can have them removed. If it is your tongue, Dr. Rindfleish can make a mouth appliance to move it out of the way while sleeping. In addition to contributing to traffic, occupational and household accidents, studies have connected sleep apnea to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and other serious health problems.
Here are a few things to watch for:
- Stopping breathing during sleep
- Sour taste in the morning or acid reflux
- Frequent arousals from sleep
- Not feeling rested in the morning
- Hyperactivity (especially in children)
- Lack of attentiveness
- Morning headaches
- Uncontrollable high blood pressure
If you think you or someone you know might have sleep apnea, talk to Dr. Rindfleish to see if a TheraSnore TM will help. Take care of yourself and your loved ones’ sleep. You might just save a marriage, and even the life of someone you know.