Do you or someone you know have problems with sleep? It may seem to be a fairly common and insignificant issue, but did you know that poor sleep can affect life expectancy?
March 10 – 16, 2019 is National Sleep Week, and it coincides with the week that precedes daylight savings time. It is estimated that up to 15% of the U.S. population, or about 18 million adults, suffer from sleep apnea. Otolaryngologists are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat sleep-disordered breathing that includes everything from simple snoring to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Untreated OSA increases the chances of accidents, and also increases an individual’s risk of heart attack and stroke. Common symptoms and signs of OSA include a bedpartner’s witnessing of loud snoring and/or pauses in breathing. The individual themselves may be unaware of the problem, or may feel tired and fatigued during the day, despite a “long night’s sleep”. In the patient with OSA, the brain does not get the restorative sleep it needs. By staying in lighter levels of sleep, airflow is improved, but sleep quality suffers. Apnea in children has similar detrimental effects on sleep quality, but it has many significant differences with adult OSA.
If you or someone you know has trouble with sleep, see your ENT physician. Specific testing and treatment may be in order, and the results can be life-changing. For more information, visit www.sacent.com or call us at (916) 736-3399.
Randall Ow, M.D., FACS, FAAOA, FARS