It’s a common misconception that sleep apnea is nothing more than annoying snoring. But in fact, this is a serious condition that can be deadly if left untreated. If you’re not sure whether or not you have sleep apnea, read on to learn about its signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Treatment will not only improve the quality of your life, it may even save your life.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
This sleep disorder causes frequent cessations of breathing during sleep. There are three types:
- Obstructive – the throat muscles relax so much during sleep they obstruct the airway
Central – the brain doesn’t send the signal to the body to breathe, disrupting breathing
Complex – a combo of both obstructive and central sleep apnea
Signs & Symptoms
Those who have sleep apnea often snore loudly. They usually experience poor quality sleep and wake up feeling tired and not well-rested. Other warnings signs include morning headaches, daytime sleepiness, irritability, and trouble focusing.
Diagnosis & Treatment
At Sullivan Family Dental, we give you a take-home sleep apnea test (called a WatchPAT) to help determine if you have the condition. It’s an easy-to-use FDA-approved device that’s basically like a watch you wear to sleep. After we submit the results to a licensed medical doctor for evaluation, you will receive personalized recommendations for treatment. These may include a CPAP machine, suggestions for lifestyle changes, and/or a special oral appliance custom-made to reposition your jaw and prevent obstruction of your airway during sleep.
Why Is Sleep Apnea Treatment Important?
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that reduces blood oxygen levels and places undue stress on the heart. Those who are sleep deprived are more likely to suffer from serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, and depression, all which can prove fatal. Our expert team is here to help you achieve and maintain superb oral health and overall health. Consult with us today if you suspect you have this sleep disorder!