According to the National Sleep Foundation, More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea.  Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include (definitely not limited to) snoring, acid reflux, obesity, and large neck circumferences.  The Sleep Group Solutions program instructs dentists on implementing a Sleep Protocol, and discuss signs and symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea.  Upcoming courses include Providence, New Orleans, and San Diego.

The National Sleep Foundation suggests the size of your neck may be useful in determining risks for various sleep disorders, including snoring and sleep apnea.  Novi, Michigan Doctor, Dr. Anjoo Ely, provides sleep apnea treatment in her dental practice, and says neck circumference is a noticeable visual sign to look out for.  “As an individual becomes more overweight or obese, one area of the body that becomes larger in circumference is the neck.”  Dr. Ely continues, “Aside from having a large stomach, there will also be tissue crowding along the airway, especially in the throat. When the airway becomes narrowed, it is more likely to partially collapse, causing hypopneas or snoring, or completely close off, causing sleep apnea.”   If an individual has enlarged tissue in the back of the mouth and throat -such as big tonsils, adenoids, or tongue, this will likewise contribute. The weight of the neck tissue itself may also lead the soft airway to collapse.

“The circumference, or distance around the neck, is typically measured with a paper measuring tape at our office, during the patients initial visit,”  says Dr. Ely, “In general, this is considered to be a risk factor for sleep disordered breathing when the circumference is greater than 17 inches for men and 15 inches in women.”  Dr. Ely’s office screens each patient for sleep disordered breathing issues, regardless of weight, health, or lack of symptoms.  Children are also at risk, in pediatric pulmonology neck circumference is also used as a screening tool to identify children who may be at risk.

To learn more about screening patients for snoring and sleep apnea, attend a  live lecture with Sleep Group Solutions, and learn your role.  Upcoming lectures include:  

Providence, RI

New Orleans, LA

San Diego, CA

San Jose, CA

Washington, DC

(Full schedule)