If you have sleep apnea in Glastonbury, it could affect more than your quality of rest. This disorder can severely impact your day-to-day life when it’s left untreated. If you regularly feel exhausted despite getting your recommended 7 hours of sleep every night, experience frequent snoring in Glastonbury, or have been recently suffering from depression, it’s time for you to visit your medical professional. Recent research may have uncovered a link between your sleep apnea and cancer. Read on to learn what the research says and how you can protect yourself.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which you temporarily stop breathing for small periods of time throughout the night. The most common type of this condition is called obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when your throat muscles relax and block your airway while you’re sleeping. Some symptoms and signs of this include:
- Loud chronic snoring
- Waking up gasping or choking throughout the night
- Morning headaches
- Morning dry mouth or sore throat
- Trouble concentrating during the day.
If you or your partner notice any of these symptoms or signs, visit a medical professional for testing. Once you are diagnosed, you can seek treatment.
What Does The Research Say?
A recent study that collected data from 19,566 patients in the European Sleep Apnea Database found that 160 (or 2%) of women had been diagnosed with cancer. While this study was broad, it did take into account their age, smoking habits, BMI, and other lifestyle habits and factors that impact cancer risk.
Epidemiologist and researcher Dr. Amanda Phipps emphasized that this connection is just a small snapshot of information that doesn’t determine a direct correlation between the two, so more research is needed. Because sleep apnea causes low blood oxygen levels, it could lead to DNA damage and inflammation, which directly relate to cancer.
How Can You Treat Your Sleeping Disorder?
Once you get diagnosed with sleep apnea from a medical professional, you can look into treatments for your condition. Not only can treating your disorder improve your quality of life, but it can also protect your health by reducing your risk of illness. One option that you may try is a CPAP machine, or continuous positive airway pressure. This machine uses a nosepiece or mask to open your airways.
Patients often have a difficult time falling asleep with a CPAP machine. If this is the case for you, another approach is oral appliance therapy. When you visit your dentist who specializes in sleep medicine, they can create a custom-made night guard similar to a retainer. This shifts your jaw to open up your airway and helps you sleep easier.
If you believe you have sleep apnea, or have already been diagnosed with it, visiting your sleep medicine specialist can provide you with treatment. While snoring may not seem like a big deal, this disorder can impact your overall health and wellbeing. Getting decent sleep can help you enjoy your daily life without the weight of exhaustion.
About the Author
Dr. Keith Hollinger has been helping patients improve their quality of life for over 25 years. He has completed additional training in sleep medicine, TMD therapy, orofacial pain, and orthodontics. He is passionate about easing his patient’s pain and solving their constant exhaustion by giving them the treatment they deserve and need. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Central Connecticut Orofacial Pain & Sleep Medicine’s website or contact 860-430-5687.