Sleep Apnea is being diagnosed all over the Country in people with completely different backgrounds, ages, and ethnicities. More recently more and more children are being re-diagnosed from having ADHD, to being severely tired from loss of sleep due to both Central and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. So often Sleep Apnea goes un-diagnosed, because doctors usually can't detect it in routine office visits. Blood tests can not detect this condition, among other routine tests.
This first detection is usually by a spouse of partner. The sound of loud snoring, or the alarming realization that you haven't been breathing consistently can alert them.
The most common type of Sleep Apnea, is obstructive Sleep Apnea. In this case the airway is constricted in someway, either by a blockage, or the airway partially collapses. This causes shallow breathing, or moments of pauses in your breathing patterns. In extreme cases, patients stop breathing upwards of 100 times and higher in an hour. This type of Sleep Apnea doesn't just affect people that are overweight. It can also affect small children who have enlarged tonsils or tissues. You may notice your child is off beat a lot. Tired all the time, cranky, and being hyper can all be signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea is children. As you can imagine this affects your health in every way possible. From being lethargic all day, to high blood pressure, to stroke, and heart attacks. In your personal life, it often causes divorce.
Central Sleep Apnea is another form of Sleep Apnea that can affect anyone. In this case breathing is disrupted because of your brain functioning. It is not that you can not breath due to and "Obstruction". It is your brain telling your stomach muscles they do not need to breath. This type of Sleep Apnea can be found in infants, and people with serious illnesses and can last up to 20 seconds of breathing pauses throughout the entire sleeping process.
Dentistry is becoming a great way to diagnose and treat Sleep Apnea. Dental appliances can be made that help keep the airway open during sleep. (Not just your standard CPAP) Such appliances can be specifically designed by Dr. Khan who has special expertise in treating sleep apnea.