Sleep Apnea Seen As A Covid-19 Risk
Orthotic tool keeps airway open, helps you sleep better, can make you healthier, avoid COVID-19
Do other people tell you they couldn’t sleep because of your snoring? Are you often tired and irritable?
You may be one of 50 million Americans with sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder in which a person stops breathing periodically throughout the night due to airway obstructions. Only a small fraction of those with the condition are diagnosed. And sleep apnea is more than just being tired. Long-term, it may lead to poor health and a shortened lifespan – and may make you more susceptible to COVID-19.
Dr. Andrew Chase of ARCH Orthodontics, with 8 offices from Boston to Orleans, says, “While the most common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP (pronounced see-pap) device, for those with a less severe case, an Orthodontist can provide a custom orthotic device that’s simpler, easier to use, less expensive, less invasive, and more comfortable.” It’s similar to a custom mouth guard that holds the jaw in a forward position, decreasing the likelihood of the tongue blocking the airway.
Recent research** shows an association between sleep apnea and severe cases of COVID-19: In one study, patients with OSA were eight times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than others.
Dr. Chase says, “Adults need 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep every night. While the quantity of sleep is important, it’s the quality of sleep that’s even more critical.” Most people with sleep apnea don’t know they have it; they think they got enough sleep, not realizing they may have had hundreds of REM cycle disruptive apneas (breathing pauses).
Do you have any of these risk factors for Sleep Apnea*
- Excess weight – Fat deposits around airway can obstruct breathing
- Neck circumference – A thicker neck can mean narrower airway
- Narrowed airway – Tonsils or adenoids can block airway
- Male — Twice as likely with men as with women
- Age – Over 50
- Family history
- Use of alcohol, sedatives, smoking
- Nasal congestion – Can’t breathe through nose due to anatomy or allergies
Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to workplace or motor vehicle accidents, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, increased risk of diabetes — even death. ARCH’s Orthodontists (www.archorthodontics.com) assess and evaluate candidates. Treatment options depend on the severity of one’s apnea. There’s a fee to treat sleep apnea, not usually covered by insurance.
For children — who need more sleep than adults –- 8-12 hours a night — sleep apnea is termed Sleep Disordered Breathing. Primary signs are snoring, mouth breathing, bed wetting, poor performance in school, waking up tired, ADHD, frequent allergies. Dr. Chase notes that ARCH offers treatments for these conditions which are often missed by the pediatrician.
ARCH Orthodontics, with strictest virus control protocols (see video on website), offers free initial Orthodontic patient consultation (a $500 value) and interest-free financing. Courtesy discounts are offered to patients serving in the military and their families and veterans, and to municipal employees and their families in towns served by the practice. To arrange an appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org / 781-209-6776. Visit www.archorthodontics.com .
– By Stanley Hurwitz / email@example.com
* Sources: www.HelpGuide.org , www.MayoClinic.org ; National Institutes of Health; WebMD ; ** Alejandra Lastra, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and Program Director, Rush University.