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Where OSA and T2D go, money worries follow
Posted on December 23rd, 2021
A recent study looked at the link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), type 2 diabetes, and financial status in a group of 209 patients. Thestudy, published in the journal Chronic Illness, found that financial hardship associated with managing these conditions had a large impact on the overall quality of sleep. The researchers wanted to draw attention to this often-overlooked aspect of obstructive sleep apnea.
A terrible feedback loop
As clinicians, we see this cycle all the time:
A person suffers from upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS).
The condition goes unnoticed until…
It results in obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and full-fledged OSA.
Then, the patient needs to spend time and money managing their disease.
Additionally, the years of bad sleep have taken a toll on their earning abilities – they haven’t been able to succeed at work because their brains can’t do the work of sleep
Now, they also have trouble working because of all of their chronic health conditions.
They can’t sleep well, because they’re worried about money.
The lack of good sleep makes it harder to manage their diabetes, blood pressure, and OSA.
The poorly managed diseases lead to more financial hardship.
It’s painful when we first meet a patient in the later stages of this cycle. We do everything in our power to help them get proper treatment, but we could have done so much more if only we’d seen them earlier before irreversible damage was done.
Proactive treatment saves lives and careers
So what can we, as dentists, do about this? It’s essential to find patients with UARS and get them treated before the disease can advance. If you want to prevent this cycle, you need to screen all of your patients at least once a year, refer them out for diagnostics, and provide them with treatment options, especially if they can’t tolerate PAP machines.
If you’re not yet practicing sleep dentistry, it’s time to get trained and start a program. Our patients need sleep medicine, and many aren’t getting it from their medical providers. As dental providers, we have a unique perspective to offer and we have treatment options that can change lives.
Snoring? Tired all day? Trouble focusing?
So many think these symptoms are common in kids and adults when tired. Join us as we debunk some of these common myths and put the spotlight on Sleep Apnea. Discover what constitutes healthy sleep and how we can help ourselves and our kids get the best sleep ever.