Three Most Common Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Dental Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Anterior Wear
- Scalloped Tongue
- Inflamed Uvula Soft Tissue
Other Medical Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Acid Reflux (GERD)
- Morning Headaches
- Type II Diabetes
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Social Problems
Contributing Factors of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Large Neck Circumference
- Mouth Breathing
- Family History
Why is Snoring a symptom?
The pathology behind snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is the same: a narrow, collapsible airway
Snoring noise is caused by the passing air through a small hole, the tissues vibrate making the snoring sound.
Someone who “just snores”, who gains a few pounds or has a few alcoholic drinks could develop into someone with apnea.
Snoring Signs and Symptoms:
Snoring and OSA correlation: Snoring is the most common symptom of OSA occurring in 70% to 95% of patients. (National Institute of Health 2010)
- Low Draping Soft Palate
- Elongated Uvula
- Excessive Fat Tissue
- Large Tonsils / Adenoids
- Nasal Obstruction
- Retrognathic Mandible
- Alcohol Consumption
- Sleep Position
Desaturation is a drop in oxygen saturation. A desaturation of 4% or greater sleep would be considered a hypopnea event.
Oxygen saturation is a major component of OSA
- Most hospitals will put patients on oxygen if they drop below 92%
- Typically it is a cause for concern if the oxygen levels drop below 90%
- It is not uncommon to see patients with OSA drop into 80%, 70%, 60% and even 50% oxygen saturation many times throughout the night.
Consequences of low oxygen saturation range from irreversible brain damage to hear attack and stroke.
Signs and symptoms of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
Why is excessive sleepiness a symptom?
Frequently when your body pulls you out of an apneic event it is accompanies by a mico-arousal. This is where you are aroused but don’t necessarily wake you up from sleep, but the micro-arousal pulls you out of whatever sleep stage you were in.
The result of micro-arousals is a disrupted sleep pattern and insufficient amounts of sleep.
People do not feel rested in the morning because they spent the night fighting to breath.
OSA patients spend significant amount of time at night in a “fight or flight” state with elevated blood pressure, heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.
Impact of excessive sleepiness – social implications, mood changes, irritability and lack of energy
Commercial Truck Drivers: DOT Health and Safety Guidelines
The Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Safety Administration recently proposed updates to existing guidelines regarding compliance with medical fitness standards related directly and indirectly to respiratory dysfunctions, including sleep apnea.
A research study on sleep apnea sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the American Transportation Research Institute of the American Trucking Associations found that 28.1% of those studied, holding a CDL, had some form of sleep apnea.
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.