Sleep apnea is a disorder where a person experiences pauses in breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is a severe condition where the supply of oxygen to the parts of the body, most importantly, the brain, is stopped. If left untreated, the disorder could worsen, where the frequency of it occurring during sleep could increase. The treatment can elevate your energy, mood, and concentration. It also provides general health benefits such as reducing your blood pressure and the risk of sustaining a heart attack or stroke.
What are the types of sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea: It is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when the tissues in the throat collapse and block the respiratory tract during sleep.
Central sleep apnea: It is a condition where the brain fails to perform its function and doesn't signal the muscles to breathe on time. The level of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood isn't monitored by the brain properly, due to which there would be uneven breathing.
Mixed apnea: As the name suggests, it is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
What are its symptoms?
- Loud snoring
- Bruxism (Grinding or clenching of one's teeth during sleep)
- Interrupted sleep, which doesn't allow the patient to enter the deeper stages of sleep
- Persistent headache
- Low tolerance levels
- Tiredness and reduction in sex drive
- Choking and gasping for breath while sleeping
- In extreme cases, insomnia and severe ADHD
- Increased chances of heart attack and stroke
Sleep apnea test
These are some of the possible indications of sleep apnea:
- Frequent pauses in your breathing pattern while you sleep, combined with loud snoring
- Experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness due to loss of sleep at night
- The size of your neck is abnormally large, which is over 17 inches (males) or 16 inches (females)
- Experiencing early morning headaches quite frequently.
- Having a hard time concentrating.
- Experiencing drastic changes in mood.
- Having low tolerance levels.
- Being overweight, by at least 15 to 20 pounds
How do you overcome sleep apnea?
A multitude of conditions causes sleep apnea. Some of the possible ways to overcome sleep apnea are:
- Reducing weight
- Control of alcohol consumption and smoking
- Change in sleeping positions
- Change in the diet plan
Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for sleep apnea. As a treatment method, a custom-fabricated snoring guard can be used for mild cases of sleep apnea. It is a mouthguard-like oral appliance that helps to widen the opening of the airway by bringing the mandible forward. You should visit a dentist to find the right treatment for you.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (860) 529-1620, and our highly experienced dentist, Dr. Cavalieri, would be happy to help.