Sleep Apnea Manhattan | It’s a Matter of Life and Breath!
- Posted on: Jan 31 2018
10016 Sleep Specialist
It is with great enthusiasm and conviction that I’m sending you this information today. As many of you who have been to the office recently know, we’ve been handing out a “sleep questionnaire” during the last six months. Earlier in 2017, I, Dr. Neil Berman, was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It’s one thing to treat diseases and illnesses if that’s your job. But, since I have it too, it’s becomes more of a passion, or a mission, if you will. My own personal story is what motivates me to inform all of my patients, their friends and loved ones that there is a silent illness out there that is endemic in the United States.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea goes undiagnosed each day in this country. Historically, it’s been barely mentioned in Medical Schools, but pulmonologists, ENTs and many other doctors today are well aware of these issues. There are now Sleep Physicians who focus all their attention on breathing disorders such as Sleep Apnea. The numbers are staggering. Roughly 18% of men and 8% of women from the ages of 3—70 suffer from Sleep Apnea. Less than 10% of those sufferers have even been diagnosed! Therefore millions (yes, millions) of Americans are still undiagnosed for various reasons. When I was taking a seminar and getting a deeper understanding of Sleep Apnea, it peaked my curiosity because I had many of the symptoms that the lecturer was describing. Oddly enough though, I had none of the signs! I’m not obese. I don’t really snore. I don’t have high blood pressure, diabetes or cardiac issues. My neck size is average (not 16 ½ inches or more), and I really had no other comorbidities (other medical issues) associated with Sleep Apnea.
I decided to go for a sleep study and I actually slept for about five hours. When the study was read by a Certified Sleep Physician, I was astounded. Not only did I stop breathing many times during the night, but the restlessness and other disturbing breathing events were recorded during my sleep as well. No wonder why I always felt tired, dozed off at the dinner table (no alcohol!), shut my eyes at a red light or felt lazy half the time. The lack of oxygen during the sleeping hours is very serious. Organs such as your heart brain, liver and kidneys need oxygen and nutrition to repair and strengthen their cells while you rest. That repair is oxygen dependent! If you aren’t getting the restful sleep and nutritional repair your body needs to be healthy, you are at risk for many other medical problems including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and depression.
If you haven’t filled out a sleep questionnaire or you feel that you may have sleep breathing issues please let us know. We are testing and treating patients every day for this silent, yet endemic illness. We are screening patients in our Practice each day, but if you know anyone else who may have sleep breathing issues, please let them know that we are trained to help them. They don’t have to change dentists to do this.
Although the first line of treatment for OSA is CPAP (a continuous positive air pressure “mask”), many people are intolerant to having their face covered in this manner. The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine has recently approved oral mandibular advancement devices (MAD) as a first line of treatment for mild-moderate OSA for patients who are CPAP intolerant. We are able to use airway metrics (calibrated instruments) with specialized testing machines right here in our office, to determine how to position your jaw based on your airway volume. Most of the appliances are like wearing a pair of bite splints on your teeth. That’s how we customize the oral appliance so it fits properly and allows the maximum amount of air flow into your lungs.
Remember this: You can go 3 weeks without eating: you can go 3 days without drinking; BUT…..you can only go 3 MINUTES without BREATHING! It’s a matter of Life and Breath!
Dr. Neil Berman
Dr. Andrew Lermer
Dr. Lauren Becker
110 East 40th Street – Suite 200
New York, NY 10016
Phone: Manhattan (646) 863-3429
Contact us today.
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