Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person's breathing pattern is severely disturbed while sleeping. Such disruption means continuous stopping and starting of a body's natural breathing cycle. The frequency with which the breathing stops is dependent on the severity of your condition. Sometimes it can happen up to hundreds of times and can adversely impact your health and life because your brain and the entire body will not be getting enough oxygen. Our Cooley Smiles dentists provide comprehensive diagnostic tests and treatment plans for different kinds of sleep apnea.
Types of Sleep Apnea
The most prevalent type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). When you fall asleep, especially in a deep sleep, your body naturally relaxes and this can also cause the throat to slightly close. This collapsing of the throat during sleep blocks the airways, resulting in OSA.
Central sleep apnea is another type of sleep apnea. What happens here is that your brain cannot send proper signals to the muscles that regulate breathing. The last kind of sleep apnea is called complex sleep apnea syndrome and is an extreme type of sleep apnea when you have both OSA and central sleep apnea at the same time.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Common symptoms include loud snoring and feeling exhausted even after getting a full night's sleep, which are clear indications that you might be suffering from sleep apnea. Differentiating between OSA and central sleep apnea can be quite challenging because they often have identical signs and symptoms. However, our professionals can accurately diagnose you using tests and taking measurements.
Other major indications include choking or gasping during sleep, severe pauses while breathing, suddenly waking up due to shortness of breath, and feeling fatigued throughout the day. Other signs might also include waking up with a sore throat, insomnia or restlessness throughout the night, frequent visits to the bathroom, lack of concentration and focus, headaches, and continuous irritation or mood swings.
Are You at Risk for Sleep Apnea?
Anyone can be affected by sleep apnea, even children. Generally, males above the age of forty have a greater risk of developing sleep apnea, especially OSA. Similarly, obesity, nasal obstruction, and family history of sleep apnea can also increase your chance of having it.
What Are the Effects of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a severe disorder that can lead to several other comorbid conditions. High blood pressure and cardiovascular problems are often associated with sleep apnea. OSA can significantly increase your chances of getting a heart attack. Similarly, feeling fatigued in the daytime can adversely impact both your personal and professional lives. It also increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes and abnormal cholesterol levels.
Your personal life is also dramatically disturbed due to sleep apnea. Lack of concentration will prevent you from getting fully involved in work and personal activities. Moreover, loud snoring every night can be a huge nuisance to your partner.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea?
Using Breathing devices, oral appliances, and treating the underlying conditions are some of the most common methods of treating sleep apnea. Such treatment varies from person to person. Our Cooley Smiles dentists will thoroughly examine you and might have to monitor your sleep pattern throughout the night to collect data about your sleep. This type of monitoring is essential for our professionals to suggest the most suitable treatment plan for you.
You can contact Cooley Smiles at (425) 249-3509 today to get more information.