Age and Gender in Sleep Apnea
AGE– as we age, we typically gain weight and lose muscle tone. The combination of the two leads to increased instances of OSA in older populations. In a community sample of people over 65, one study notes OSA was present in 65% of the population.
GENDER– According to studies, the ration of OSA from men to women is 2.5 to 1. Interestingly, the ration of men to women who undergo a full night study at a sleep lab is 8 to 1. This is thought to be due to the face that many women under report their symptoms (especially snoring) which leada to under referral to sleep centers.
An enlarges tongue, constricted maxillary arch, high palate, retrognathic mandible, deviated septum and a variety of other conditions relating to tongue and mandibular position as well as narrow facial bone structure can have an adverse effect on the airway.
Alcohol / Sedatives
Alcohol consumption and sedative use can contribute to OSA. They relax muscle tone in the upper airway which can lead to airway collapse and OSA.
Smoking can also increase risk for OSA because it irritates and inflames the tissues of the upper-airway. Anything that causes a reduction in airway size can increase the risk of nocturnal breathing issues.
Why is a dental office talking to me about sleep?
Great question! We see patients more frequently than their own physician and our oral exams and healthy history updates often indicate signs of sleep related breathing issues. Specific dental symptoms are a great indicator of potential sleep issue and this can be overlooked by most physicians.
I don’t have sleep apnea?
Over 8 out of 10 patients with OSA don’t know they have it. Based on our evaluations you are at a high risk and even the possibility of having this deadly condition is too serious to ignore. An evaluation with a home sleep test read by a board certified sleep physician is the only way to find out for sure.
I want to talk to my primary care physician.
Awesome! We agree and it’s important to have your physician involved. Following your sleep study we will be in touch with your MD to review the sleep physicians finding and go over results.
Sleep Apnea Test
Risk levels based on scores of screening test:
Between 0-7: you are at low risk
Between 8-11: you are at moderate risk
Between 12-15: you are at high risk
16 or higher: means you are at severe risk
Your score places you at LOW risk. Dr. Nugent recommends that you proceed with formal testing and follow up care with medical professionals. Without formal testing, it is impossible to know exactly what your risk level is.
Your score places you at MODERATE risk. This can be serious and Dr. Nugent highly recommends that you proceed with formal testing and follow up care with medical professionals.
Your score places you at HIGH risk. This is serious and Dr. Nugent highly recommends that you proceed with formal testing and follow up care with medical professionals.
Your score places you at SEVERE risk. This is serious and Dr. Nugent highly recommends that you proceed with formal testing and follow up care with medical professionals.