Dentist - Dr. Amy Norman, DDS, PS

Children Who Snore Could Have Sleep Apnea

Thanks to television sitcoms, when you picture someone who snores until the house shakes, you likely picture an overweight middle-aged man. For years this was the typical sleep apnea patient and the most likely to get diagnosed and treated for the condition. Over time, research has shown that women and children also suffer from sleep apnea and that they often go undiagnosed, according to Dr. Amy Norman of Dream Smile in Everett, Washington.

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Snoring Isn’t Funny

Contrary to what every sitcom has tried to convince you, snoring isn't a laughing matter. Why? Because snoring is a breathing disorder that’s on a spectrum. On one end of this spectrum you have snoring, and on the other end you have severe obstructive sleep apnea.

Snoring is a sign that your breathing during sleep is not normal. It can even be a warning sign of a sometimes severe disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.

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What Kind of Doctor to See for Sleep Apnea

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep apnea affects more than 18 million people in the United States alone, and the disorder is likely to be under-diagnosed. For those who do seek treatment, one of the most confusing parts is deciding what kind of doctor to see. Here are five different medical professionals who treat sleep apnea and why you would consider each one:

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Women Get Sleep Apnea, Too

 When you picture the typical sleep apnea patient, what comes to mind? For many, it's an image of an overweight, middle-aged man snoring through the night. This is a common conception not only with the general population, but also with doctors, according to Dr. Amy Norman, DDS, a dentist in Everett, Washington, who treats many sleep apnea patients in her practice.  

"For years, men have been the poster children of sorts for sleep apnea," she said. "There are many reasons for this. Women are affected differently by sleep apnea in many cases and don’t always snore. They are often misdiagnosed since their symptoms don’t always align with a doctor’s idea of what a typical sleep apnea patient looks like."

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Disrupted Sleep Could Increase the Risk for Alzheimer's

A new study from Washington University in St. Louis has found a link between disrupted sleep and Alzheimer’s disease. The study, conducted in partnership with Stanford University and Radbound University Medical Centre in the Netherlands and published in the medical journal Brain, shows that continued poor sleep during middle age could increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease as the patient ages.  

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Does Your Child Show Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea afflicts 18 million Americans, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Patients with the disorder experience brief, but repeated, interruptions of their sleep, which occur as a result of the patient’s airway becoming blocked. While the majority of sufferers are adults, the American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 4 percent of children suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, and the majority of these young patients goes undiagnosed. That is, at least until they visit a dentist. 

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