Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes breathing interruptions while you sleep. You may snore intensely, wake up gasping for air, and feel unrefreshed when you get up. Morning headaches, daytime sleepiness, and sore throats are par for the course with sleep apnea.
Although sleep apnea can happen to any adult, certain risk factors increase your risk. Being overweight, being older, smoking, having a family history of sleep apnea, and excessive drinking are all risk factors.
Men are more susceptible 一 about 2-3 times more susceptible 一 to developing sleep apnea.
If you’re male, you might wonder if there's anything you can do to lower your risk. That’s just the topic that Dr. David Blaustein at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics in New York City is here to discuss.
There are anatomical and physiological reasons why males are more susceptible to sleep apnea. First, men tend to have larger neck circumferences and longer pharyngeal airways than females.
These differences, according to researchers, mean the male airway is more likely to collapse (become obstructed) during sleep.
Second, men tend to have more abdominal fat than pre-menopausal women, and excess abdominal fat increases your risk of sleep apnea. Menopausal women, who tend to develop more visceral fat, do see an increase in their risk of developing sleep apnea.
Some risk factors you can’t avoid: Family history, aging, and gender are three examples. However, there are many risk factors you can control. You can reduce your risk of developing sleep apnea by:
Even if you take action against the preventable risk factors, it’s still possible to develop sleep apnea. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, don’t brush it off.
Regardless of your gender, sleep apnea can cause more issues than just intense snoring. Left untreated, it can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure or having a heart attack.
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is a well-known sleep apnea treatment designed to help stop airway obstructions. These machines provide a continuous and gentle flow of air, but you have to wear a mask while you sleep.
While effective, many people find the CPAP machine uncomfortable, hard to maintain, and a contributor to dry mouth in the morning.
Here at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics, we offer an alternative to the CPAP machine: an oral appliance. The device, similar to a mouthguard, aligns your jaw in such a way as to keep your airway open all night long.
Each device is custom-made for you, easy to clean, and much more comfortable and convenient than a CPAP machine.
To find out if an oral appliance is right for you, call our office in Manhattan or request your appointment online today.