Americans suffer from sleep disorders at an alarming rate. From insomnia to sleep apnea, these disorders have a great impact on our overall health and are increasingly being recognized as the reasons behind everything from motor vehicle crashes to industrial accidents and disasters and medical and occupation errors. In fact, this has become such an important issue that the CDC has set up surveillance of sleep related behaviors in recent yeas, in order to learn more about the effects of sleep, or lack of quality sleep, on our overall health.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders affecting patients today. There are three types: obstructive, central and mixed, and of the three, obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form. Apnea is a Greek word that literally means “without breath.” Patients who have sleep apnea fall into a state of very shallow breathing or they even stop breathing and this can happen hundreds of times a night to some. In most cases, the patients are unaware this is happening because the cessation in breath does not full awaken them.
As you can imagine, left untreated, sleep apnea can have very serious affects, including resulting conditions that shorten our lifespan such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, accidents, diabetes and depression… the list goes on. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses during sleep. Sleep apnea is very common. In fact, it is as common as type 2 diabetes, affecting more than 18 million Americans according to the National Sleep Foundation. Men who are overweight and over the age of 40 have the highest risk of developing sleep apnea but it can strike anyone at any time, even children.
The first step is learning if you have sleep apnea. While you should always talk with your doctor about any medical concerns, there are also some self tests that you can do and they can be found on the American Sleep Apnea Association’s webpage by clicking here.
Once sleep apnea has been diagnosed, it is time to think about treatment options. In the case of obstructive sleep apnea, about 79 percent of patients are overweight so starting a weight loss and wellness program is usually recommended. Some common recommendations for treatment also include things like nose spray and different positions when sleeping. However, not all of these treatments are effective and some may actually interfere further with one’s ability to comfortably sleep.
A different avenue that is appealing to more and more patients is treatment through Chiropractic Neurology. Not only does Chiropractic Neurology have the benefit of being non-invasive and drug-free, but it is also incredibly effective when it comes to the treatment of some of the root causes of sleep apnea. By utilizing the brain-body connection, Chiropractic Neurology can help patients correct their body positioning while sleeping, conquer health and weight loss goals and increase oxygen capacity and nerve function, essential to reversing the symptoms of sleep apnea.
For more information on Sleep Apnea, or if you are interested in how Chiropractic Neurology can benefit you or a loved one, please contact us today at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center.