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Snoring: What It Really Is And How It Can Be Lethal

According to the National Sleep Foundation, some form of snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs in over 90 million Americans.

Here are some more startling facts:

Approximately 40% of patients over the age of 40 snore, and half of them snore EVERY night

Among those that snore on a regular basis, OSA is prevalent in 17% of men and 15% of women

An estimated 18 million Americans have OSA and another 16 million remained undiagnosed

Why Should You Care?
If you, a spouse or loved one snores on a regular basis they may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  While snoring may seem just a nuisance to anyone in bed with or nearby the snoring individual, it is truly a silent killer for many Americans.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is associated with higher risk of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, irregular heart beat, impotence, behavior and cognitive problems and the big one….death.
Furthermore, OSA leads to excessive daytime sleepiness.  This can cause injuries at work, poor job performance and possible job loss.

It is also estimated that people with OSA are 10 TIMES more likely to die in a car accident than someone without OSA.

Okay, I Snore, How Do I Know I Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

You will first need to have a sleep study done by a Physician who specializes in Sleep Medicine.  You can get a referral to a sleep center from your family medical doctor or a dentist.

Once a sleep study is performed, you will get a diagnosis regarding the severity of you OSA.  In the case of mild to moderate OSA, you will often get a referral back to your dentist or dental specialist who have expertise in oral appliances and dental sleep medicine.

With mild to moderate OSA, an oral appliance worn at bedtime is very effective at eliminating the snoring and thus the sleep apnea.  Patients who have these oral appliances will immediately notice the benefits.

These benefits include feeling rested for the first time in a long time, not having daytime sleepiness (no more 3 pm trips to Starbucks), clearer thoughts (brain not in a “fog”) and more energy than they have had in a long time.
Of course a follow sleep study will be needed to confirm the success of the oral appliance and make sure it is adjusted for maximum effectiveness.

If after your initial sleep study, it is determined that you have severe OSA, there will be several different treatments recommended by your sleep medicine specialist.
A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device is usually recommended and fitted for your use at bedtime.   In very extreme cases, surgery is recommended.
Drs. Cater and Galante can assist you in finding the Best Sleep Center and Sleep Medicine Specialist to help you or a loved one with this truly deadly disease.  We offer a free exam and consultation to determine if you may have OSA.
Call today to set up your complimentary exam, 916-435-8000.

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