It is Not Just Snoring!
Heavy snoring is a common symptom of a serious health issue called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and is often the reason some people seek (or are pushed into) treatment. Sleep apnea is basically the inability to move enough air during sleep to maintain adequate blood oxygen levels. OSA is also often a contributing factor in many other serious health issues. Unfortunately, it is not often on the radar when physicians are making their examinations and diagnoses.
My opinion, as a non-physician well trained in airway management, is that any physician or nurse practitioner working to establish a diagnosis of hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, cognitive impairment, dementia, stroke, myocardial infarction, chronic fatigue, chronic pain and several other conditions, should be considering the possibility that OSA may be a contributing factor.
Screening for OSA is easy using the “STOP-BANG” questionnaire found online, and testing can usually be done at home. Making the leap from snoring to heart attacks and diabetes is sometimes a little more challenging for both patients and their caregivers.
Please give us a call is we can answer any of your questions.
JC Goodwin, DMD
Diplomate ACSDD and ABDSM