So You Think You Have Sleep Apnea

You’ve had a sleep study and the results may indicate that you have some form of sleep apnea.  So what is the next step?  Learning about sleep apnea and some of the treatment options is a good place to start.

Sleep apnea affects nearly 20 million adults in the US. Around 80% of sleep apnea cases go undiagnosed!

These frequent pauses or breaks in breathing during sleep are detrimental to your health. Sleep apnea dentists have identified key causes of the disorder:

  1. The brain fails to signal the respiratory system to breathe
  2. A physical block in the airways caused by either the tongue or soft tissues falling back in the throat.

Sleep apnea dentists have identified the symptoms and signs of sleep apnea they want you to watch out for.

Snoring

This is caused by vibrations produced in the upper airways due to obstructions. If your snoring is loud, disruptive and regular, speak to a sleep dentist.

Breaks in Breathing

Fatty tissues of the tongue and throat become relaxed during sleep and fall back in your passageway, blocking it. This threatening symptom causes your brain to alert you into wakefulness to correct your breathing and resume sleeping.

Lethargy

If you sleep for 8 hours but still feel drowsy and tired, then you may be suffering from sleep disturbances caused by airway passages. If your chronic fatigue hinders your functionality, speak to a sleep dentist.

Hypertension

This is most commonly linked with sleep apnea due to the lack of oxygen in your body due to obstructive sleep.

Obesity

Fatty tissues of the neck can facilitate the tongue in falling back into the air passages and a neck circumference of 17 for men and 16 for women increases the likelihood of sleep apnea.

Emotionally Tired

Lack of good sleep can make you irritable, depressed, anxious and short tempered. Speak to a sleep dentist to improve your sleep hygiene for a healthier mind.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should speak with your healthcare professional.  They can suggest the best treatment options for your situation. Treatment options such as CPAP or oral appliances can help with sleep apnea

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