Sleeping is meant to be a period of rest, but it can become worrisome if it is associated with loud snoring. This leads to multiple sleep disruptions, and these disruptions to natural sleep rhythms can result in more instances of light sleep than deep restorative sleep. This causes the person to be less energetic and unproductive the next day.
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep and can lead to serious health problems like hypertension and other cardiac problems, cerebrovascular accidents like stroke, etc., if not treated on time.
If you feel distressed during sleep as discussed above and want to talk to a doctor near you to discuss and learn more, you can book a consultation with our dental office at The Lexington Dentist, and you’re guaranteed to get quality sleep apnea services. Contact us and you’ll be glad you did.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive: The most typical type of sleep apnea. The muscles supporting the upper airway soft tissues relax during sleep and then block the normal flow of air in and out of the nose and mouth, causing loud snoring and interrupted breathing.
Central: A much less common type that involves the central nervous system. It occurs when the brain stops sending signals to the muscles that control breathing, albeit temporarily. Although, people with central sleep apnea seldom snore, and studies show that it is often caused by an underlying health condition.
Complex or mixed: This is a rare combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
It can be tough to identify sleep apnea by yourself since many of the prominent symptoms only occur when you sleep. However, you can find out by asking your partner, roommate, or children to observe your sleep habits, or record yourself during sleep. The most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea include:
Although certain factors increase the risk of having sleep apnea, it can happen to anyone.
Sex: It’s seen more in men than women, although the chances increase in women after menopause.
Older age: It can occur at any age but is more common for those in their 50s and 60s.
Weight: The risk is higher for overweight and obese individuals.
Smoking: Smokers have 3-times the risk of developing sleep apnea than non-smokers.
It has also been reported that allergies or other medical conditions that cause nasal congestion and blockage can also contribute to sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is potentially dangerous and can create certain complications if not treated on time. Some of these include:
Hence, it is always important to visit a sleep apnea specialist as soon as you realize you may have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea practice involves the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. It is diagnosed via a sleep evaluation and includes an overnight sleep study called a polysomnogram (PSG). During this test, body functions such as the brain’s electrical activity, eye movements, muscle activity, heart rate, breathing patterns, etc., are recorded at night during sleep.
After the sleep evaluation, treatment for sleep apnea can include:
Conservative management: Lifestyle modifications in the form of weight loss, stop smoking, and sleeping with the use of nasal sprays or breathing strips.
Mechanical Therapy: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy.
Surgical procedures: Done usually after the above methods don’t work. Sinuplasty, Tonsillectomies, Uvulopalatopharyngoplasties, Mandibular/maxillary advancement surgery, and Nasal Surgery.
Our dental team is always ready to take care of you at The Lexington Dentist. You only need to make the effort to book that appointment. Call us and we’d respond to you.