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Archive for August 2017

Sleep Apnea is bad for Your Health

It’s true that sleep apnea has negative consequences on your overall health. In fact, a lack of sleep can lead to exhaustion and crankiness, but long-term sleep disruption can lead to serious health conditions, too. Approximately 25 million adults in the United States suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (according to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine), which is why it is important to seek treatment immediately. Some health complications associated with sleep apnea include the following:

Heart Disease

A common affliction for those with sleep apnea is heart disease. Those who suffer from heart disease as a result from sleep apnea may have an increased chance of dying by as much as five times the amount of those without sleep apnea. And, as one of the leading causes of death in the country, heart disease can easily be prevented.

Depression

Yes, sleep apnea can even lead to depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that women who are suffering from untreated sleep apnea have a five times greater risk for symptoms of depression. On the other hand, men who have untreated sleep apnea are more than twice as likely to exhibit signs of clinical depression.

Diabetes

As you may know, obesity is the leading cause of sleep apnea, as well as diabetes. Put the two together and your risk goes higher for each. According to research by “Frontiers in Neurology”, up to 83% of Type 2 diabetes patients have sleep apnea and may not have even been aware they had it. When a patient is unaware, it hinders their ability to receive proper treatment, and that means you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms to further educate yourself and your loved ones.

By getting screened for sleep apnea, you’re on the right track toward improving your overall health too. Contact Dr. Bonnie Foster in Warrenton, VA to learn more about sleep apnea and how you can protect yourself from further health complications.

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The Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea

Over 25 million people suffer from sleep apnea, which means it is important to understand the risk factors involved. While sleep apnea is a deadly disease, it is a highly preventable one when proper treatment is completed. To help you better understand sleep apnea, let’s take a look at the warning signs and who is at risk:

Overweight Individuals

The population most at risk for experiencing sleep apnea is overweight individuals. This is due to excess tissue that places pressure on the airway. More than half of those with sleep apnea are classified as overweight. And this is an issue we need to start tackling faster than ever. The risk of developing sleep apnea significantly increases with increased weight, age and those with diabetes. This is also the case for smokers, too.

Gender and Race

Your gender also says a lot about sleep apnea and your chances of developing this condition. It is more common for men than women to develop sleep apnea. Additionally, sleep apnea is more common among African Americans, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders than Caucasians.

Constricted Shape of Nose, Mouth or Throat

Take a look at the shape and size of your features, such as your nose, mouth or neck. If you have a constricted shape or small size nose, mouth or throat, you might have a greater chance for developing sleep apnea. Allergies and other medical conditions can also cause features along the airway to restrict the flow of oxygen, further worsening sleep apnea.

Understanding the risks and warning signs of sleep apnea can help you find the right form of treatment before further complications arise. Contact Dr. Bonnie Foster to find out if you have sleep apnea.

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4 Types of Headaches You Never Knew Existed

While headaches definitely are not fun, it might be worth your time to try to think about what type of headache you might be experiencing. All headaches are not the same, so don’t lump them all in one description. You might have heard about tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches, but did you know there are other types? Here are four headaches you might not be aware existed.

  1. Depression Headaches

Yes, depression headaches are a thing and you should not ignore it. Depression isn’t just an emotional and mental issue. When a person suffers from chronic depression, their body might also respond with aches and pains, even leading to headaches. To treat both your depression and headache, it is important to visit your doctor. With a proper diagnosis, your doctor can provide you with an appropriate treatment plan for both your headache and depression symptoms.

  1. Rebound Headaches

Taking too many medications to cure your headache can lead to further headaches. By routinely taking certain medication you might think you are preventing headaches, but that is not the case. Medications most commonly associated with rebound headaches include:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Combination medications containing caffeine

If any of these medications have been overused, the best source of action is to discontinue using it. It might take approximately 8-12 weeks before the medication has completely cleared your system, which means a more structured approach to headache treatment and prevention can then be pursued.

  1. Hypertension Headaches

This type of headache is a generalized or “hair band” headache, which is usually worse in the morning. It slowly goes away as the day goes on, but that doesn’t mean it is any less painful or irritating. Make sure to get your blood pressure checked regularly and take prescribed blood pressure medicine to prevent these from occurring.

  1. Post Traumatic Headaches

It’s easy to confuse post traumatic headaches with migraines or tension headaches. However, these differ because they often occur every day and a simple pain reliever, such as Tylenol, does not help. Pain often begins aver a minor trauma, but it is difficult for doctors to pinpoint the cause and properly diagnose it. The best way to overcome your headache is to prevent a buildup of stress caused by trauma.

Contact our Warrenton dentist, Dr. Bonnie Foster, to learn more about headaches and how to minimize your pain.

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