Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea in New York City & Manhattan

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a common type of sleep apnea in which individuals are rarely aware of difficulty breathing, even upon awakening. Their organs are deprived of 20% less oxygen and as a result, makes an individual more and more tired.

Below are some of the health facts about OSA:

1. OSA is a very common and potentially life-threatening sleep breathing disorder

2. More than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea

3. Sleep apnea happens when the tissue of the back of the throat collapses and blocks the air path, as a result amount of oxygen entering to the organs is lessened.

4. May snore loudly and stop breathing for short periods of time

5. Excessive daytime sleepiness

6. Memory loss, impaired concentration

7. Morning headaches

8. Irritability, Depression

9. Decreased sex drive

10. Higher risk of stroke, heart problems.

How dentist can help identify undiagnosed OSA

Dental practitioners are in an excellent position to screen for undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. During their examination they will check the oral cavity:
· Tongue size (normal or enlarged) which would determine structures of their patients’ upper airways
· Uvula, enlarged and elongated if it is touching the tongue This may cause a blockage of airway passage which may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
· Tonsils, the larger the tonsils are the smaller the airway.
· Patients are more likely to see a dentist frequently than primary care physicians.
· Dentist can help screen for obstructive sleep apnea, “high risk” for having OSA. Follow ups with sleep specialists can further confirmed the accuracy of these findings.

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