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Diseases Associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), how likely are you to have other diseases too? A recent study of 100 patients with mild, moderate, or severe OSA looked at this question.1 Overall, the patients had the following diseases in addition to OSA:

  • 32% were obese
  • 39% had high blood pressure
  • 19% were depressed
  • 18% had gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • 15% had diabetes
  • 10% had high cholesterol
  • 4% had asthma

Except for depression, the percentage of patients with these diseases was lowest in patients with mild OSA and highest in patients with severe OSA. Other diseases have also been shown to go hand-in-hand with OSA, including increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and congestive heart failure.

It is important to tell your dentist or doctor is you think you have OSA in order to successfully treat diseases associated with OSA.

Reference

1. Pinto JA, Ribeiro DK, da Silva Cavallini AF, et al. Comorbidities associated with obstructive sleep apnea: A retrospective study. Int Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2016; 20:145-150.

 

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Patients’ Experiences of Oral Appliance Treatment for OSA

If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you most likely snore and your airway may collapse, temporarily preventing you from breathing. Left untreated, you are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, stroke, and congestive heart failure. You may also experience excessive daytime sleepiness, increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, and impaired quality of life.1 The good news: OSA is treatable.

Two of the most common treatments for adults with OSA are CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) and oral appliances that hold your jaw and tongue forward (a.k.a. mandibular advancement), making more space in the airway for you to breath and preventing your airway from collapsing. If you have severe OSA, your doctor can prescribe CPAP, which is the standard of care for severe OSA. If you have mild-to-moderate OSA, or you cannot tolerate a CPAP and do not want surgery, your dentist can make you an oral appliance.

Oral appliances are effective in treating mild-to-moderate OSA. But… what do people wearing the appliances think of them? To find out, a survey was sent to 1150 adults who were treated with an oral appliance for OSA.2 On the survey were 70 questions including questions about changes in symptoms/quality of life and daytime sleepiness, and the value of treatment. Of the 738 adults who responded to the survey, 83% said treatment with an oral appliance relieved their symptoms. Quality of life and cognitive symptoms improved significantly and daytime sleepiness decreased significantly with frequent use of their oral appliance. Over 85% of respondents said they would recommend this treatment to a friend.

If you have been diagnosed with OSA and have questions about oral appliances, please speak to one of our staff and we will be happy to talk with you.

 

  1. Ahrens A, McGrath C, Hagg U. A systematic review of the efficacy of oral appliance design in the management of obstructive sleep apnoea. Eur J Orthod 2011;33:318-24.
  2. Nordin E, Stenberg M, Tegelberg A. Obstructive sleep apnoea: patients’ experiences of oral appliance treatment. J Oral Rehabil 2016.

 

 

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Children and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

children can have sleep apnea

If you read our last blog post on the link between temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you might have been surprised to learn that, like adults, children suffer from TMD. Also like adults, children suffer from snoring and OSA, with 1% to 5% of children reported to have OSA.1

There are many reasons that children have OSA. The most common reason is enlarged adenoids and tonsils, which narrow the airway. Other conditions cause the airway to collapse more easily, including inflammatory diseases such as asthma, and allergies or hay fever. One other important factor in childhood OSA is obesity, which has reached epidemic proportions in both children and adolescents. OSA occurs in up to 60% of obese children.

There are significant consequences to childhood OSA, the most common being impaired neurocognitive development, poor academic performance, and behaviour problems. In terms of behaviour, there is considerable overlap between the symptoms of attention hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and OSA. Even children with mild OSA, who snore on a regular basis, have shown hyperactivity, and concentration and attention problems. Pediatric OSA has also been linked with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and bedwetting.

Nighttime symptoms of OSA include snoring, gasping for breath, restless sleep, mouth breathing, and apneas, meaning your child temporarily stops breathing. Daytime symptoms are usually non-specific but can include hyperactivity, concentration and behaviour problems, difficulty learning, moodiness, and excessive sleepiness. Taken together with the nighttime symptoms, these can alert your dentist or physician to check for OSA. The standard test for OSA is an overnight sleep study — a polysomnograph (PSG) — done in a monitored sleep clinic.

Treatment is available for pediatric OSA. If you suspect your child might have OSA, please talk to your dentist or doctor.

  1. Dehlink E, Tan HL. Update on paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea. J Thorac Dis 2016;8:224-35.

 

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