Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea: A Significant Health Issue

More and more, health experts are recognizing the threat posed by sleep apnea, a condition associated with potentially life-threatening issues. Fortunately there is effective treatment available at Poss Sleep Apnea & TMJ Solutions in Brentwood and Murfreesboro TN.

As many as twenty-two million Americans have sleep apnea. But remarkably, about eighty percent of them are undiagnosed. Experts consider sleep apnea a significant health issue.

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is by far the most common type. It is caused by a blockage in the airway. Most often the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse over the airway.
  • Central sleep apnea. In this less-common form the airway remains open, but brain does not communicate with the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex sleep apnea. A combination of the two types mentioned above.

With each type, the sleeper’s brain is deprived of oxygen. This usually rouses the sleeper, who resumes breathing. In severe cases it happens  repeatedly during sleep: hundreds of times, in some cases.


OSA can result in such health problems as high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. It is also associated with type 2 diabetes and depression. Because it can leave the person sleep deprived and drowsy it is also a factor in automobile accidents, and accidents involving heavy machinery.

Sleep apnea is most often seen in men over forty, but it affects women and children, too.

The best diagnoses come from sleep studies. These can be done in a sleep lab or at home. While asleep, the patient is monitored for things like brain wave activity, blood oxyten levels, and leg movements. Studies also measure how many apnea events occur.

From there, treatment can begin. It may include a device called CPAP, weight loss, or the use of an oral appliance that repositions the jaw.

At Poss Sleep Apnea and TMJ Solutions in Brentwood and Murfreesboro TN, sleep apnea and its treatment is our specialty. If you or someone close to you is coping with sleep issues, please call us to schedule an appointment today!


Location (Tap To Open In Google Maps):

1177 Old Hickory Blvd, Suite 203
Brentwood, TN 37027