Depressive symptoms are often alleviated when sleep apnea is treated, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
Prior to the study, nearly 73 percent of the 426 sleep apnea patients showed clinical signs of depression. After three months of treatment with CPAP therapy to resolve their sleep apnea, only 4 percent of the sleep apnea patients had symptoms of depression.
Of the 41 patients who reported thoughts of self-harm or feelings that they’d “be better off dead” prior to treatment, no patients felt that way at the three-month follow-up.
“The findings highlight the potential for sleep apnea, a notoriously underdiagnosed condition, to be misdiagnosed as depression,” said Australian sleep physician and senior study author David R. Hillman, MD. The results suggested that there are mental health benefits to treating sleep apnea, in addition to reducing the risk of other chronic health problems like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure that have been associated with sleep apnea.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
People tend not to think of snoring as a health problem – and it’s true that not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, nor does everyone with sleep apnea snore. It’s important to see a medical professional if the quality of your sleep is interfering with your waking life or if you awaken each morning feeling genuinely lousy.
The CPAP machine has been a mainstay of sleep apnea treatment for many years, but compliance rates are low due to discomfort. A bulky machine is attached to a face mask, which must be worn all night. Patients must also ensure there is routine maintenance conducted to ensure the tubes are not leaking and the components have not become worn. It is also a difficult therapy for travelers or people who are deployed overseas and not sleeping at home.
Another option is to see a dentist specializing in non-invasive obstructive sleep apnea treatment. A custom-made mouthpiece shifts the lower jaw forward and opens the bite slightly to keep air passageways open at night.
Here at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot perform a regular oral exam, take x-rays of the teeth, ask a few general health questions and counsel patients on the pros and cons of oral appliance therapy. The next step involves taking precise impressions of the teeth and fashioning the custom mouthpiece in-office. Best of all, insurance covers most of the cost.
For more information on treating sleep apnea and depression using easy, affordable dental therapy, call 631-296-0609.
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