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Sleep Apnea Medical Risks

Sleep Apnea Medical Risks

Most of us snore at some point in our lives for a variety of reasons. Occasional snoring is not a problem but chronic snoring may be a symptom of a more serious disorder called sleep apnea. Although sleep apnea can occur in both men and women at any age, it appears to be most common in men. Sleep apnea affects approximately 20% of the population and can cause breathing to cease for more than 10 seconds. This can occur as many as 300 times or more in one night.
People who suffer from sleep apnea have been found to have an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and heartbeat irregularities. There are certain risk factors, like obesity and high blood pressure, which can increase your chances of developing sleep apnea. Research also concludes that sleep apnea can run in families, suggesting a possible genetic link.

Sleep Apnea RisksUsually, the person suffering from sleep apnea is the last one to know. Most sleep apnea sufferers don’t even realize that they are waking up throughout the night gasping for air. It is very often their sleep partner who suffers the most from the constant noise and gasping that can go on throughout the night. Coworkers and friends may notice that the person who is afflicted with sleep apnea is excessively tired and irritable during the day. Since it is possible for the person suffering from sleep apnea to remain unaware of their condition, it is important that the people in their lives speak up when they observe the symptoms.

Sleep apnea can be a serious condition and will only continue to worsen if left untreated. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, check with your doctor. It is vital that the cause of sleep apnea be correctly determined before any treatment is prescribed.

Although "normal" snoring may respond to non-medical treatment, such as simply changing pillows, sleep positions, or cutting out certain foods, sleep apnea is potentially life-threatening and should not be left to do-it-yourself approaches.

There are a variety of dental and oral devices on the market today that can be used to reduce the effects of chronic snoring or sleep apnea. Surgery is also an option. A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is one of most common forms of treatment for chronic snoring and sleep apnea. Another more desirable treatment that has shown great results is the 'Pillar Procedure'. Done in one simple office visit, three small woven inserts are placed into the soft palate of the mouth, reducing the vibrations that cause the snoring noise to occur. This is an FDA approved, less invasive option that has proven itself to be effective in approximately 80% of its recipients.

According to Dr.'s Jennifer Jordan and Dwight Lee, Dallas, TX-based experts in sleep apnea and chronic snoring, the Pillar Procedure is virtually pain-free.

Only a doctor can determine the cause of your snoring and advise you on which option would work best for you. If it is determined that you have sleep apnea, be sure to ask about the Pilar Procedure. If your doctor is not familiar with it, give
Dr. Jordan or Lee a call or visit their web site for more information.

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