Small Girl Falling Asleep at Table

Did you know, Dr. Hibret Hailu Benjamin is a San Francisco dentist who regularly screens her patients for sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that affects the way you breathe while sleeping – often leading to frequent, loud snoring. Specifically, this is instigated when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes while you sleep, causing interruptions in breathing. These interruptions usually last between 10 to 20 seconds each and can occur up to hundreds of times a night. Sleep apnea is typically more prevalent in males, smokers and the elderly; it can also cause a wide range of problems from sleep disturbance to more serious health issues. While this is important for adults to be aware of, did you know, sleep apnea can also have a profound affect on your children?

Last year, The American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry, AAPMD, told a story about Finding Connor Deegan. His story begins with a child who was simply struggling in many aspects of his life: school, friends, family. After being evaluated by various medical professionals, Connor’s diagnosis was that he is cognitively gifted and has Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Following his diagnosis, Connor was evaulated by a local dentist who specializes in diagnosing airway problems. With the help of the interdisciplinary team of doctors, they were able to remove Connor’s tonsils and adenoids, remodel the muscle attachment under his tongue, expand his dental arches and be prescribed a daily dose of allergy medication. With this treatment, Connor Deegan as not only able to have improved airway and sleep pattern but he was able to enjoy his life again. For more on Connor Deegan and his story, click here.

While it is important to understand what affects our children’s health and daily life, it is also important to take care of yourselves. It is never too late to get a sleep study done, regardless of your age. If you notice any signs or symptoms of sleep apnea which you may suffer from or a loved one, please call our office at (415) 409-3368 for a sleep apnea evaulation.

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