If you snore, it can be more than a nuisance noise. At the Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders in Denver, Dr. Steven Wilk works with people whose snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, a serious medical condition. Learn more here.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder which affects millions of people. Characterized by extremely loud snoring and repeated episodes of breathing cessation (apnea), startling awake, and gasping, sleep apnea is related to blockage of the airway with the soft tissues of the throat and the tongue.
Why is sleep apnea harmful?
Obviously, when a person stops breathing, he or she is deprived of necessary oxygen. Additionally, sleep apnea is linked to health concerns such as:
- Poor concentration
- Memory loss (dementia)
- High blood pressure
- Type-2 diabetes
- Chronic xerostomia, or dry mouth
What can you do about sleep apnea?
The National Sleep Foundation says Obstructive Sleep Apnea is related to some personal characteristics and lifestyle elements such as:
- Body weight (obesity)
- Gender (males more than females)
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Age (over 40)
While you cannot change your age, you can modify some factors--weight, tobacco and alcohol most notably. However, some people need additional help. That's where Dr.Wilk and his team at the Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders come in.
Oral appliance therapy can help
Some sleep apnea sufferers do well with an oral appliance worn at night. Oral appliances re-position the lower jaw or hold the tongue down. Either method keeps the airway patent and reduces, or eliminates, snoring and other signs of sleep apnea.
Are you snoring?
If a loved one tells you about your snoring and episodes of sleep apnea, believe them and get a medical evaluation. Then, seek the services of Dr. Steven Wilk at the Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders. He'll work with you to arrive at the best way to correct your sleep apnea. Call the office for a personal consultation: (303) 758-4895.