The fatigue caused by sleep apnea can make doing a lot of things difficult. Focusing on work, concentrating on tasks and tackling to-do lists can be hard to do - if not downright impossible. But, it can also make doing some things dangerous. One of those things is driving.

A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that nearly 30 percent of commercial truck drivers are living with some level of sleep apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by breathing interruptions during sleep. These pauses can last 10 seconds or more and, depending on the severity of the condition, can happen dozens to upwards of 400 times a night. With that many interruptions in breathing, it's challenging to get a good night's sleep and often means feelings of fatigue.

Sleep Apnea and Driving

Since sleep apnea affects your sleep, it can also make you tired during the day and can negatively impact your performance and daytime alertness. Sleep apnea can make it hard for you to stay awake, react quickly and focus your eyes. All these things together make your risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash higher.

But, while you may be thinking, 'I never fall asleep while driving,' individuals with sleep apnea don't need to fall asleep to have an accident. In most cases, being less alert and having delayed reaction times can translate to accidents, too.

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea affects men, women and children, but some factors can increase the risk of developing the condition. These risk factors include:

Genetics. If someone in your family has sleep apnea, you are at risk of developing the condition.
Undersized airway. Having a small upper airway can increase the chance of having sleep apnea.
Weight. Being overweight or obese increases the chance of developing sleep apnea because of excess weight around the neck. A large neck size (17 inches for men and 16 inches for women) is a potential indicator of sleep apnea.
The physical structure of the jaw. Having a small jaw, large overbite or a recessed chin can lead to sleep apnea.
Smoking and alcohol use.
Being age 40 or older.
Ethnicity. 

The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Do you think you have sleep apnea? Here are some of the condition's most common symptoms:

  • Loud snoring, gasping and choking during sleep
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Excessive daytime fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Problems with memory
  • Irritability
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Frequent nighttime urination

Are you noticing these symptoms? If so, it's time to talk. Give Legends Dental a call today to find out how we can help treat sleep apnea and get you back to good sleep. Call 254-294-4040 to schedule an appointment.

Covid-19

A NOTE TO OUR PATIENTS

The well-being of our patients has always been our top priority!

Legends Dental is following the recommendations of Governor Abbott, Texas State Dental Board, ADA, as well as the CDC. We will be limiting our services effective immediately. Due to recent circumstances and for the safety and well-being of our patients, their families, and our community, we will not be performing any routine or non-urgent dental procedures at this time.

Though our office hours have been temporarily shortened, our team will continue to support anyone who may be experiencing pain and all who require an Emergency Care Visit.

If you are experiencing a dental emergency or having pain, please text our office at (254)776-0691 or call (254)799-9540 so we may get you scheduled as quickly as possible. You can also message us on Facebook.

Examples of urgent dental care treatments include:
Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation. Surgical postoperative osteitis or dry socket dressing changes. Abscess or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling. Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma. Dental treatment cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation. Extensive decay or defective restorations causing pain; suture removal; denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded; and snipping or adjustments of an orthodontic wire causing pain.

Additionally, our team is here to help those affected by cancellations. We will gladly assist with rescheduling to a time that is best for you. If you have an appointment that may be affected, or would like to reschedule regardless, please call (254)799-9540 or text (254)776-0691 so we may accommodate you.

We love all our patients and look forward to being able to serve all of your dental needs as soon as possible!! Thank you for you time and understanding during these circumstances.