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Archive for February 2017

There’s a New Link to Your Anxiety: Sleep Apnea

Many of us carry a lot of stress on our shoulders, and a lot of times it means extreme anxiety toward a variety of things. No matter the cause, the stress or anxiety is always a constant, every day factor. Many people think that being tired during the day is a normal part of being stressed, but it isn’t. If you ever feel sleepy throughout the day, it is important to get tested and treated for sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea affects people while they’re sleeping, which can be particularly jarring. Some people have to wear special masks connected to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines to ensure that they breathe normally throughout the night and the threat of breathing problems can cause severe anxiety. In turn, this anxiety may make sleep problems worse and sleep deprivation will continue to contribute to both depression and anxiety. Let’s learn more…

The Sleep Apnea and Anxiety Connection

For people already under tons of stress, you’re missing out on restorative sleep that slows the aging process and improves cognitive function—this just compounds the stress you face during the day. A huge source of anxiety during the day is actually from a feeling of breathlessness they experience at night. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you’re panicked all night long as you gasp for air — unconscious and unaware the entire time, but still paying the emotional price in the form of anxiety during the day.

To get ahead of stress, it is important to wake up feeling positive and optimistic in order to handle the next day’s events. If you are feeling any symptoms of anxiety or are waking up exhausted, it is important to visit a dentist to take the next steps toward diagnosis and proper treatment planning.

Contact Craniofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Center of Virginia to learn more about anxiety and sleep apnea. There continues to be a connection we need to pay close attention to and there are solutions that can help you get the rest you need to feel less stress.

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February is American Heart Health Month

We commonly associate February with Valentine’s Day, but did you know it is American Heart Month, too? If you’re looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, why not give the gift of heart health? This is a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle by making small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. And, while all Americans are at a risk of heart disease, African American men, especially those who live in the southeast region of the United States, are at the highest risk for heart disease. In addition, 40% of African Americans have high blood pressure, which is also a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.

For this reason, during American Heart Month, we want to encourage you to make a change in your health and start new, heart-healthy behaviors to improve your health, while reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Small changes can make all the difference in your health!

A Sleep Apnea Connection

Expanding on the topic of heart health, we also want to point out the connection between sleep apnea and heart disease. Due to low oxygen or the stress of waking up frequently during sleep, many people die in the middle of the night as a result of sleep apnea. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, while stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, and is also a leading cause of disability with high blood pressure being a major risk in both conditions.

Sleep apnea, hypertension and heart disease continue to have a strong connection. Because of this, it is vital that everyone understand how these conditions are connected. Once you understand the importance of these strong connections, you can seek the proper treatment you need.

Make a Change

To not only improve your health, but your heart health, too, here are some helpful tips to follow during the month of February and beyond:

  • Schedule a visit with us to talk about the sleep apnea and heart disease connection.
  • Talk to your family doctor about your heart health.
  • Add exercise to your daily routine (even just 30 minutes a day helps).
  • Increase your healthy eating (at least 3 times a week helps).
  • Take steps to quit smoking.
  • Take medication as prescribed by your doctor.

Contact Dr. Bonnie Foster to learn more about how you can further protect your heart health by treating sleep apnea.

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A Link Between Sleep Apnea and Weight

We understand there are numerous influencers in the development of sleep apnea. While we might not understand each connection, one thing that is clear is that weight loss can significantly improve the symptoms of sleep apnea. Because obesity is a leading cause of sleep apnea, it is important to exercise and lose weight to protect your overall health.

Weight Loss and Improved Sleep Apnea

Weight loss can significantly improve, and potentially eliminate, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) symptoms in people that are obese. Researchers continue to study the area of sleep apnea, which is how we have learned that people with severe OSA who lost the recommended amount of weight were three times more likely to experience remission of sleep apnea symptoms compared to those who did not lose any weight.

Most patients with sleep apnea are overweight, but that doesn’t mean everyone is obese—only some. By losing weight, you can eliminate fat that blocks the windpipe, and it will not only fix your sleep complications, but can also help with:

  • Cholesterol
  • Knee pain
  • Fit of your clothes
  • Overall feeling of yourself

It has even been found that moderate to severe sleep apnea can be completely corrected by losing excess weight. And, for others, even a small amount of weight loss can open up the throat and improve sleep apnea symptoms.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

If you have lost weight, but are still experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, it is important to seek further care. While the weight loss might not have eliminated all of your symptoms, it still helped. Contact Dr. Bonnie Foster at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Virginia to learn more about why your sleep apnea symptoms might still be present, and what treatment options are available. Through oral appliance therapy, you may finally find relief from your symptoms.

When was the last time you slept through the night, waking up feeling refreshed? Remember, sleep apnea should never be ignored. Dr. Foster at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Virginia can help provide relief from sleep apnea in Warrenton for many patients.

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