12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. However as many as 10 million more aren’t aware they have it. The condition occurs when the soft tissues in the mouth and throat blocks the air passage. If left untreated sleep apnea can:
- Increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes
- Increase the risk of, or worsen, heart failure
- Make irregular heartbeats, more likely
- Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents
- Cause premature death but only in rare cases
Symptoms of sleep apnea that may include:
- Episodes of not breathing (apnea), which may occur as few as 5 times an hour (mild) to more than 50 times an hour (severe). How many episodes you have determines how severe your sleep apnea is.
- Loud snoring. Almost all people who have sleep apnea snore, but not all people who snore have sleep apnea.
- Restless tossing and turning during sleep.
- Night time choking or gasping spells.
Our main concern is that you are able to treat your sleep apnea or snoring as effectively as possible. That means while you are learning about sleep apnea treatments, Dr. Fong will be evaluating you for their effectiveness. He will look at the results of your sleep test (if you had one), He’ll take some measurements, look at your teeth and gums, and ask you a series of questions about your health, lifestyle, and sleep patterns.
Once Dr. Fong has done an initial sleep apnea consultation, he can recommend and refer you to sleep apnea specialists for treatment. Dr. Fong’s goal is to have you leave the office with a better understanding of sleep apnea treatment outside of CPAP machines.