If you wake up tired each day, you might blame your busy schedule, stress, even your mattress. But there’s something else you should consider: sleep apnea. Often called obstructive sleep apnea, or OAS, this condition causes lapses in breathing that disrupt sleep and negatively impact health and wellbeing.
Boerne dentist Dr. Luigi Massa discusses the causes and treatments of sleep apnea to help you recognize the symptoms and get the relief you need.
What exactly is sleep apnea?
An apnea episode is defined as a period of time in which breathing lapses. A sleep apnea sufferer may experience hundreds of these episodes each night. When the brain senses that breathing is not occurring, it signals the body to wake up. You may awaken entirely or enter a lighter stage of sleep. Either way, slumber is disrupted.
What are the signs of sleep apnea?
There are several symptoms that can result in a diagnosis of sleep apnea, including:
- Waking up tired every day
- Feeling groggy throughout the day
- Inability to concentrate
- Morning headaches
The majority of sleep apnea sufferers also snore. More men than women suffer from sleep apnea.
What causes sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can result from excess weight, small air passageways, heredity, aging, or genetic factors, such as the shape of your head and neck. It also occurs when the soft tissues of the throat relax during sleep. This relaxation of tissue can narrow passageways and impede airflow. Snoring occurs as a result of air trying to force its way through restricted passageways, which causes tissues to vibrate and make the sound known as snoring.
Besides feeling tired, what are the effects of sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, impotence, and diabetes. It can also result in an increased risk of accidents occurring in the workplace or while driving.
How is sleep apnea treated?
Many sleep apnea sufferers experience relief with a small dental device that looks like an acrylic mouthguard. Worn at night, this oral appliance holds the jaw slightly forward to maintain good airflow. Other treatments exist, as well. Your unique situation will dictate which sleep apnea therapy is right for you.
Get a good night’s sleep!
Call Premier Dental Center today to schedule an appointment with Boerne dentist Dr. Massa. He’ll help you find the sleep apnea solution that will put you on the road to restful slumber.