December 18, 2017
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring — except for you, thanks to excessive snoring other breathing challenges.
For millions of Americans, the unpleasant symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea keep them getting the quality night’s sleep they deserve. If you wake up repeatedly throughout the night gasping for air, or if your partner complains that your snoring disturbs their beauty rest, it’s time to consult the experts at Davenport Dental Group about your possible sleep apnea.
If you’re ready this holiday season to finally nestle snugly into bed and dream uninterrupted about sugar plums, call either of our locations in Laredo, TX! We’ll help you get an accurate diagnosis and alleviate excessive snoring and other symptoms related to sleep apnea with solutions that fit your lifestyle.
In the meantime, read on for more information about obstructive sleep apnea and the ways our compassionate staff can help.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic condition, in which a sleeper’s airway is repeatedly blocked throughout the night. This occurs when the tongue sinks back or tissue at the anterior of the throat collapses in, preventing air from filling your lungs when you inhale.
For those with obstructive sleep apnea, these episodes can happen dozens of times a night, and they often end with the sleeper jolting awake gasping for air or feeling like they’re choking. Obstruction of the airway is also what causes excessive snoring.
What Are The Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
The symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea can be literally exhausting. They interrupt your sleep, which can you to feel poorly rested day in and day out.
If you’re exhibiting the following symptoms, it’s time to seek a professional diagnosis:
- Waking up with a dry or sore throat
- Excessive snoring, particularly if it wakes you or your partner
- Fatigue during the day
- Dozing off while driving or watching TV
- Restless sleep
- Waking up many times throughout the night
- Headaches in the morning
Certain factors can increase your likelihood of obstructive sleep apnea. For example, men, overweight individuals, and those with a family history of sleep apnea are at an increased risk of the disorder. However, it’s important to note that sleep apnea can affect anyone, regardless of weight, sex, or genetic predisposition.
Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?
Unmanaged sleep apnea can indeed be dangerous. Obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to cognitive impairment and difficulties at work, like reduced productivity and falling asleep on the job, according to a review of scientific literature. Because of this, the disorder has been linked to an increased risk of workplace accidents and automobile collisions.
This makes sense. Think about a time when you pulled an all-nighter and then tried to get work done the next day. Chances are, you made mistakes you wouldn’t normally make and had trouble focusing. The effects of sleep apnea are similar since it affects the quality of sleep you receive.
Sleep apnea is also linked to an increased risk of serious health complications like heart disease. When you stop breathing, like when you’re having a sleep apnea episode, adrenaline is released.
When it happens repeatedly, your adrenaline levels become heightened and stay there, which can lead to high blood pressure, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
If you suspect you have obstructive sleep apnea, your first step should be to get an official diagnosis. The team at Davenport Dental Group can help you connect with a sleep specialist for this. The specialist will collect data about your oxygen levels and breathing during sleep.
Once we know that sleep apnea is what’s keeping you up at night, we can help you find an effective solution.
Obstructive sleep apnea is sometimes treated with a CPAP — or continuous positive airway pressure — device. This consists of a mask, which fits over your nose, under your nose, or sometimes over both your nose and mouth. It’s connected to a machine that pushes air into your nasal passage and/or mouth to keep the airway open.
This treatment is effective when properly and consistently used. But many patients find the CPAP machine uncomfortable.
That’s why we’re proud to treat obstructive sleep apnea with a simple dental appliance. It’s custom-made to fit comfortably in your mouth, sort of like an athletic mouthguard.
You pop it in right before bedtime, and it slightly adjusts the position of your jaw to keep the airway open.
Don’t Let Excessive Snoring Disrupt Your Sleep!
This holiday season, give yourself the gift of quality sleep. After all, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle without it.