This June is the 24th annual Men’s Health Month, a month dedicated to creating awareness about the health and well-being of both men and boys. One area of men’s health that doesn’t get much attention, except in sitcoms, is snoring. Although it may just seem like an annoying habit, it can actually be a sign of a serious sleep disorder called 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.