Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep condition where the sufferer experiences stoppages in breathing throughout the night. These apneic episodes can last anywhere from eight seconds to over a minute and happen hundreds of times each night. In OSA, blockage in the airway, such as the tongue falling back, swollen or bulky soft tissues in the throat, or a nasal blockage cause pauses in breathing.
A small-scale study from January of 2022 showed that untreated obstructive sleep apnea causes a person’s biological age to accelerate. With treatment, those with OSA can slow aging.
Study and Findings
Each person has a chronological age (the age we count each year) and biological age (how old our bodies are, compared to a healthy adult at each chronological age). Blood tests that analyze DNA and an algorithm help researchers determine your biological age. Many situations accelerate your biological age, such as smoking, poor diet, and pollution. This is called “epigenetic age acceleration.” It’s linked to chronic diseases and overall mortality. This study aimed to determine if obstructive sleep apnea causes a person to age faster.
Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine looked at 16 non-smoking adults with OSA and 8 adults without OSA. After testing the biological age of each group, the adults with OSA were prescribed a CPAP received treatment for one year.
After the period, researchers discovered the biological age of adults who did not adhere to treatment accelerated, the biological age of those who complied decelerated in comparison, and the control group’s biological age stayed consistent. Treatment could slow your aging if you have obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment with Oral Appliance Therapy
As much as 80% of people with obstructive sleep apnea live undiagnosed and untreated. Many people are underdiagnosed, too. While some cases are mild, others are debilitating and disrupt your personal, social, and professional life.
CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure machines, are a widely known treatment of OSA, but it’s not the only option. Oral appliance therapy works for many people with mild to moderate OSA or who have trouble adhering to CPAP treatment. While CPAP is 100% effective in clinical studies, practical application has found it less effective because people feel it cumbersome and uncomfortable.
Oral appliance therapy uses a small mouthguard-like appliance that holds your jaw in a position where air can flow freely through your airway while you sleep. Most users find it comfortable and easy to travel with, so complying with treatment is easier. If you worry you may have obstructive sleep apnea that is causing you to age faster, Dr. Maria Escoto and Dr. Alberto Mantovani can help you get diagnosed and prescribe treatment in Miami Beach, Florida.
Signs and Symptoms to Watch For
Symptoms of sleep apnea vary, and because so many people are unaware of their condition, the symptoms they experience are frustrating and can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety. Watch for these symptoms. If you’re experiencing the consequences of untreated sleep apnea, getting tested and treated could be your golden ticket to slowing your aging.
- Loud snoring
- Nighttime sweating
- Waking up choking, coughing, or gasping at night
- Witnessed stoppages in breathing
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Morning headaches
- Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth
- Daytime concentration difficulty
- Mood changes
- Decreased libido
Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea
- High blood pressure
- Depression and anxiety
- Heart failure
- Heart attacks
Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment in Miami Beach
In Miami Beach, doctors Escoto and Mantovani are highly trained sleep dentists who can help you get the sleep apnea treatment you need to live a longer life. The first step is to call to make an appointment.
Next, you’ll visit the office for your first appointment, where we can help you find sleep apnea testing. You can visit a clinic for a sleep study, or many patients prefer to do an at-home sleep test from the comfort of their own homes and beds. If your doctor finds you to have sleep apnea, we’ll review your scores and discuss your lifestyle, treatment wishes, and budget to determine which treatment option is best for you. In many cases, we prescribe oral appliance therapy.
We’ll take impressions of your mouth to create a custom oral appliance and give you some tips to try and keep your apneic episodes at bay until your oral appliance is ready. Once it is, we’ll call you back into the office and fit your appliance, making adjustments as necessary. In just a few weeks, you’ll have a new oral appliance that helps you sleep better, reduces your symptoms, and decelerates your biological aging.
All it takes is three easy steps.
Step One: Call (305) 535-2225 or make an appointment online today
Step Two: Perform your sleep study
Step Three: Sleep better and live longer