Centerville, OH residents ask, “What is sleep apnea?”
Has your partner told you that sleeping in the same room with you is similar to sleeping next to a jetway? Do you wake up feeling tired and lethargic and continue to feel that way during the day? Both of these symptoms are signs that you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is defined as momentary pauses in breathing while sleeping. This sleep disorder can cause significant disturbances in that can affect your health and your ability to function properly during the day.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of the condition. Caused by a blockage or obstruction in the airway, the break in breathing causes your blood oxygen level to drop and triggers your brain to disturb you enough to wake up and breathe, although not enough for you to actually be aware that you are awake. Many people suffer from sleep apnea for years without knowing why they are so tired. Patients with sleep apnea may have anywhere from 5 to 100 pauses in breathing each hour!
While the two most common symptoms of sleep apnea are sleepiness during the day and snoring, there are others such as:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lapses in memory
- Persistent headaches
- Depression or mood swings
- Sore, dry throats first thing in the morning
While sleep apnea is more common in older adults, it can occur at any age. Most patients go undiagnosed because the condition cannot be detected during a regular doctor visit. The only way to obtain a true sleep apnea diagnosis is through a sleep study.
One of the most common treatments for sleep apnea is the use of continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP treatment involves a mask worn over the mouth and into the nose. The mask is connected to a machine that delivers air, keeping the airway open and overcoming the obstruction. While very effective, many patients have problems using the CPAP every night. Due to certain side effects, compliance with this treatment tends to be quite low.
At Alex Bell Dental, we offer an oral appliance that can help our patients dealing with sleep apnea. It works by repositioning the jaw forward and helping to keep the airway more open and reduce the resistance or obstruction causing the apnea.
Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your health and wellness. If you live in the Centerville, OH area, call us today to learn more about the benefits of oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea.
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