Know the Signs of Sleep Apnea
If you never wake up in the morning feeling refreshed, despite getting the right quantity of sleep, there may be a reason. Sleep apnea can keep you from getting the quality sleep that give you energy during the day. This condition involves a prolonged interruption in breathing, to which the brain responds by waking you up enough to resume normal breathing. These lapses in breathing can happen hundreds of times a night and can leave you feeling exhausted.
The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea, in which something—the tongue, soft or hard palate, or another facial tissue—blocks the airway, causing the lapse in breathing.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
If you experience any or especially more than one of the following, you may have obstructive sleep apnea:
- Waking gasping for air during the night.
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat.
- Headaches, particularly in the morning.
- Frequent waking during the night and trouble staying asleep.
- Memory loss.
- Inability to focus.
- Moodiness irritability, or depression.
Basically, sleep apnea can have a hand in any and every facet of your life. In fact, sleep apnea can cause you to have a lower quality of life than you otherwise could have. It’s important to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists to get the necessary treatment for this condition.
What complications can happen from untreated sleep apnea?
At first, you may be tempted to ignore the symptoms that point to sleep apnea. Don’t! This condition can have serious consequences on your health and safety. The sleep deprivation alone can interfere with your judgement, potentially leading to car or other kinds of accidents. But as you cease breathing, the oxygen levels in your blood can drop dangerously low, causing your brain to send emergency signals to your body. Over time, these accumulated stressful moments take a toll on you and increase your likelihood of experiencing:
- High blood pressure.
- Cardiovascular event such as heart attack or stroke.
- Pregnancy complications like preterm birth, preeclampsia, and more.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Exacerbated ADHD symptoms.
Who is at risk for sleep apnea?
Anyone can have sleep apnea, even children, but the most likely to struggle with this condition are older males. Many times, it occurs in people who have excessive weight around the upper airway or who have a large tongue or neck circumference. Enlarged tonsils or adenoids can also block the airway. Those who use alcohol, tranquilizers, or sedatives on a regular basis may also develop this condition.
What can be done to treat sleep apnea?
Although it’s a chronic condition, the good news is that sleep apnea is treatable. Our dentists at Blue Ridge Dental can address the cause of your symptoms, helping you achieve better, deeper sleep every night. Through sleep apnea therapy, you and your partner can finally get the high quality rest you both need. If you have sleep apnea, don’t wait! Contact our team for an appointment today!