What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that halt’s one’s ability to breathe while asleep. There are different types to be aware of in case you think you may suffer from the disorder.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): the airway becomes blocked
During sleep, the soft tissue can collapse into the back of the throat, leading to a blockage that stops airflow. Most patients have this sort of sleep apnea.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): the body is not getting orders from the brain to breathe.
Anything from arthritis, encephalitis, and Parkinson’s disease can trigger this form of sleep apnea. It’s very dangerous and cognitive in nature.
Mixed Sleep Apnea – A combination of both OSA and CSA.
Some of these issues may be signs and symptoms of sleep apnea:
- Excessive snoring
- Pauses in breath during sleep
- Waking up feeling out of breath
- Trouble falling back asleep upon waking in the middle of the night
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping in the first place
- Headaches upon waking up for the day
- Sore throat or dry mouth when waking up for the day
- Sleepiness and fatigue throughout the day, no matter how many hours of sleep you’ve gotten
- Memory issues
- Poor concentration
- Mood changes
- Behavior changes
Who is at Risk?
Sleep apnea can occur in men and women of any age. The following can increase the possibility of sleep apnea developing:
- Patients over the age of 40
- Obesity or excess weight
- Large neck, tongue, uvula, or tonsils
- Undersized jaw
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- Sinus issues that result in nasal disorders
- Family history and genetics
Treating sleep apnea is crucial to your health. Not doing so can lead to an increased risk of:
- Heart attack
- Higher than normal blood pressure
- Headaches and sinus pain
- Asphyxiation or death
To reduce your risk of sleep apnea, eating a balanced diet, as well as the following can make a big difference:
- Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and other sedatives as they may affect your normal breathing patterns
- Reposition your sleeping state to help improve air flow; often, this means propping the head up with additional pillows and avoiding sleeping on sides or back
- Losing weight helps the neck to provide a clearer air pathway to the body, as well as improves general health
At Lifetime Dental Excellence, each and every patient is suffering from a different experience when coming across sleep apnea. We can help to find a healthy solution to your concerns, including the following treatments:
- Tongue Stabilizing Devices to assist in a clear airflow
- Custom mouthpieces and night guards to help increase air passage while asleep
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines for mechanical help breathing
Come in for a consultation and we will help solve your sleep apnea problems and ensure you a healthy, happy night’s sleep! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable team.