Sleep Apnea: How Common Is it?

Sleep Apnea: How Common Is it?

In preparation for Sleep Awareness Week, March 11-17, we’ve started a new series on the blog answering your common questions about sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder characterized by repeatedly stopping breathing while sleeping and jolting awake to resume normal breathing. This cycle can repeat several times in one night, and the brief awakenings are typically so short patients do not remember them in the morning.

So how common is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is extremely common, about as prevalent as type 2 diabetes. The National Sleep Foundation estimates more than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea.

The American Heart Association reports about one in five adults has sleep apnea.

Men are more likely than women to develop sleep apnea. Other risk factors include:

  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Being overweight or obese
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking

How do I know if I’m at risk for sleep apnea?

We’ve developed a helpful acronym to see if you should consider being tested and treated for sleep apnea. STOP.

S- Snoring. Do you snore or has your bed partner told you that you snore?

Snoring is one of the most common and most noticeable symptoms of sleep apnea. Many partners report the snoring is unbearably loud. However, it’s important to note that not all sleep apnea patients will snore loudly.

T – Tired. Do you feel tired throughout the day?

While you may not remember waking up throughout the night, sleep apnea leads to a restless night. The lack of uninterrupted sleep leads to excessive daytime drowsiness, an inability to concentrate and frequently early morning headaches.

O – Has it been observed, usually by your bed partner, that you have stopped breathing during sleep?

Stopping breathing is a tell-tale sign of sleep apnea. Patients can experience pauses in breathing five to 30 times in an hour while sleeping.

P – Do you have High Blood Pressure?

Sleep apnea prevents you from getting a full night’s rest and has been linked with an increased risk for high blood pressure, stroke and heart failure.

What should I do if I think I have sleep apnea?

Call our Frisco dental office today. Dr. Korous will work with your general physician to conduct a diagnostic sleep study if necessary to determine if you have sleep apnea.

Dr. Korous offers oral appliance therapy as an alternative to CPAP treatment for patients suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea. The appliance works by positioning the jaw to prevent the soft tissue at the back of the throat from being able to collapse into the airway.

For more information,call our office today to schedule a consultation.