There are all sorts of injuries that can land a baseball player on the disabled list, but perhaps never has sleep apnea been considered one of them. Until now.
It was recently revealed that Mike Napoli, first baseman for the Boston Red Sox, was to undergo sleep apnea treatment beginning in the offseason. Although treatable, sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that has been linked to an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and other health problems.
Sleep Apnea and the DL
Sleep apnea alone did not put Napoli out of commission; he missed the last 10 games of the just-wrapped season due to a host of physical injuries. According to The Boston Globe, Napoli will require only rest—not surgery—for the nagging finger, knee and foot issues that limited his playing time.
But he will seek treatment for sleep apnea, a common disorder thought to affect up to 18 million Americans. “This has been going on for several years,” said Ben Cherington, general manager of the Red Sox, in The Boston Globe article. “As sleep issues do for people, they tend to get worse as time goes on, and his has.”
Sleep Apnea’s Effects
The complications of sleep apnea include:
- Daytime fatigue
- Difficulty focusing
- Increased irritability or mood swings
Without treatment, sleep apnea can lead to heart conditions, liver problems and other severe health issues. Though sleep apnea is most common among obese, middle-age men, as Napoli’s case points out, it can affect anyone.
Treating Sleep Apnea
There has been no further word yet on Napoli’s sleep apnea treatment, but the condition—and its resultant snoring—can often be successfully managed with a custom oral appliance.
These devices, which are available in a number of different styles, are custom made to suit your unique needs. To learn if a sleep apnea or snoring appliance is right for you, it’s important to consult with a knowledgeable dentist.
If you or a loved one suffers from chronic snoring, please contact Dr. Dan Matthews online or call our dental office at 512-452-2273 to schedule your sleep apnea consultation. Dr. Matthews welcomes patients from the greater Austin, Texas, area.