The problem did not seem so bad when you were at home. When your husband’s snoring woke you up at home, you were able to simply move into another room so that you could both get some rest. The biggest problems were when you travelled and stayed at a hotel or were a guest in another family’s home. On those nights you had two choices. Continually wake your husband up to keep him from snoring or get absolutely no sleep yourself. The one good thing about the problem is that your husband’s constant snoring alerted you to another, much more serious condition. He was recently diagnosed with one of the more common sleep apnea disorders.
More than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea and while many of these cases are mild, some can be quite serious. In fact, an ongoing study of sleep problems in the general population shows some very alarming results. In an 18-year period, people with severe, untreated sleep apnea died at a rate more than three times that of those without apnea. These statistics are why sleep apnea tests are essential for those with the following symptoms:
- Waking in the morning with a very sore or dry throat
- Frequent, loud snoring
- Occasionally waking with a choking or gasping sensation
- Sleepiness or a consistent lack of energy during the day
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
- Sleepiness while driving
- Forgetfulness, mood changes, or a decreased interest in sex
- Recurring awakenings or insomnia
Sleep apnea disorders can be fatal if they are not addressed. For example, because sleeplessness and lack of ability to concentrate are associated with apnea, sufferers are six times more likely to die in a car accident. This startling statistic should be enough evidence to convince yourself to have yourself or your loved one tested for possible sleep apnea disorders.
If diagnosed, the preferred treatment by many healthcare professionals is a sleep apnea dental device. One advancement called a mandibular repositioning device (MRD) can increase upper airway capacity by as much as 50% to 75% with maximum mandibular protrusion. The average cost for a sleep apnea mouth guard or other MRD is estimated at $1,800 to $2,000. The sense of relief this repositioning devices provides, however, is priceless.
An estimated 50 million to 70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder. If left undiagnosed, these moderate to severe sleep apnea medical conditions may cause $3.4 billion in additional medical costs to middle-aged Americans. Scary, isn?t it? You likely spend a great deal of time and effort exercising and eating right to keep yourself healthy during the day. Don?t you think you should take time to make sure you are healthy during the night as well?