November 26, 2020
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can be quite serious. People who have this have their breathing repetitively stop and start throughout the night. While this can interrupt the sleep schedule and lead to fatigue, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a new study has shown that having sleep apnea can actually cause you to age more quickly than someone who does not have a sleeping disorder. Continue reading to learn about why this happens and some signs that you or your partner could have sleep apnea in Lakeway.
How Did the Study Work?
This study involved 622 adults, both men and women, with an average age of 69 years old. Participants were measured for blood DNA methylation, and their sleep was being evaluated at home by polysomnography. The researchers then studied participants’ blood to look for epigenetic changes in their DNA. In the end of the study, it was determined that the participants who had the highest severity of sleep-disordered breathing had accelerated epigenetic aging. This trend seemed to affect women more than it did men.
What Are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?
If you or your partner have the signs and symptoms listed below, it could point to sleep apnea:
- Dry mouth
- Gasping for air while sleeping
- Hypersomnia during the day
- Episodes where breathing stops during sleep
- Headache in the morning
- Difficulty paying attention
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Depending on the severity of the condition, sleep apnea may be treated in any of the following ways:
- Lifestyle Changes: If a patient only has mild sleep apnea, sometimes it can be treated with simple lifestyle changes. By losing weight, abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, and sleeping in alternative positions some patients see effective results.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): This treatment involves the patient wearing a mask over their nose while they are sleeping. The mask is hooked up to a machine that delivers a constant flow of air into the nose in order to keep the airways open so that breathing is made easier.
- Oral Appliances: Patients who have mild to moderate sleep apnea but are unable to tolerate or get relief from CPAP may find an oral appliance effective. They are constructed by a dentist and worn in the mouth at night. Generally, they support the jaw in a forward position in order to maintain an open airway.
If you think you may have sleep apnea, talk to your dentist in Lakeway about sleep apnea therapy. Together, you can find a solution that works for you!
About the Author
At Eaddy Dentistry, you have two skilled family dentists. Dr. Winston Eaddy has been working in the dental field for more than four decades, and he is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association and Texas Dental Association. Dr. Daniel Eaddy pursued his DDS from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Dentistry, and he has received advanced training at the VA in all specialty areas of dentistry. Sleep apnea therapy is an option at their practice. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (512) 263-4252.
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