Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Huffington Post Asks Its Readers: Is Your Snoring Deadly?

This morning, Huffington Post writer Dana Ullman posed an important question to his readers. He asked, Is Your Snoring Problem Benign or Deadly?

Snoring is a common problem in America. So common, that many people don’t think twice about it. It’s likely they see snoring as aggravating, instead of a much deeper problem.

In addition to keeping up spouses and friends, sleep apnea can damage a person’s overall health.

Ullman’s own wife suffered from sleepless night because of his snoring. And he jokes that his snoring made his camping buddies think there was an alligator “stalking and devouring prey” in his tent at night. But sleep apnea can dramatically impact people’s lives. So it is important to pay attention to the signs, such as snoring.

Do snorers always have sleep apnea? The answer is no.

An estimated one in eight Americans snore. Of these 30 million snorers, more than half, or 18 million, suffer from sleep apnea.

While sleep apnea can be easily treated, 80-90 percent of people with sleep apnea go undiagnosed and untreated.

Left untreated, sleep apnea increases a patient’s risk for stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure. Patients also have a higher risk for diabetes, obesity and driving accidents.

When Ullman finally decided to get treatment, he looked at all his options.

In his article, Ullman explains why he chose oral appliance therapy. He found CPAP and surgery too invasive.

So he went to his dentist to get fitting for an oral appliance. He wore this device at night like a mouth guard. It kept his airway open so he could breathe normally and live a healthier life.

Oral appliance therapy should be performed by a dentist trained in dental sleep medicine. Find one here.

Image by D. Scott Lipsey

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.