When you hear about sleep apnea, you might have the misconception that it’s just simple snoring. After all, doesn’t every person who has sleep apnea snore loudly? Well, sometimes, but sleep apnea is much more than simple snoring. And unfortunately, it’s much more dangerous than simple snoring. Our Attleboro MA dental office understands the dangers of sleep apnea and is here to treat this serious problem.
The good news about sleep apnea is that we can easily treat it. The bad news is that some people have sleep apnea and don’t even know it. That’s because there are many signs of sleep apnea, not just simple snoring. Today we want to show you some of the signs and discuss the best possible sleep apnea treatments. Give us a call today at 774-225-0618 to schedule your consultation.
How Sleep Apnea Can Ruin Your Health
Most people assume that sleep apnea is only a snoring issue — but in truth it’s an overall health problem. You might snore and have sleep apnea, but that’s not all that’s going on in your body. Sleep apnea occurs whenever you experience pauses in breathing. A person with severe sleep apnea can have as many as 30 of these episodes every hour. Whenever you have a pause in breathing, your blood pressure will rise. The more frequent your sleep apnea episodes, the more stress you’re putting on your body. There have been cases of people actually dying from sleep apnea episodes. More commonly, however, sleep apnea increases the risk of problems like: stroke, heart disease, and even diabetes.
The Signs of Sleep Apnea
Anyone can have sleep apnea, but men 40 and older are at a higher risk. We already covered the sign of snoring. Many people — perhaps even most — who have sleep apnea regularly snore. People with sleep apnea also wake up gasping for air. If you snore or wake up gasping for air, it’s possible that your bed partner has already alerted you about your issues. There are also other signs to consider:
- Waking up with morning headaches
- Waking up feeling tired even after a full night’s rest
- Trouble concentrating
- Increased moodiness
- Tiredness throughout the day
Sleep apnea is such a common problem that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released guidelines for drivers who may be struggling with sleep apnea. Studies have also shown that driving while sleep deprived in similar to driving while intoxicated.
Anyone can have sleep apnea, but men 40 and older face the highest risk. You’re also at a greater risk of sleep apnea if you have a large neck size (that’s 17 inches or larger in men and 16 inches or larger for women).
How We’re Helping People with Sleep Apnea
About 18 million people in the country will suffer from sleep apnea. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. That occurs whenever soft tissue blocks the airway during sleep. The other type of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea. And that occurs whenever the brain fails to send signals to the lungs during sleep.
Many patients with sleep apnea have been prescribed a CPAP machine. The CPAP machine constantly pushes air into the lungs during sleep, and it’s the gold standard for sleep apnea treatment. The treatment includes a mask, hose, and a machine. There are a lot of different moving parts, and patients often find the mask a unbearable. In fact, some studies have found that the compliance rate the CPAP is only about 50 percent. AND … the CPAP can disrupt the bed partner. That’s not a great compliance number for any treatment. Luckily, not every patient needs a CPAP machine.
At Attleboro Family Dental Care, we offer a comfortable oral appliance for patients with sleep apnea. The oral appliance is ideal for patients struggling with mild to moderate sleep apnea. (We’ll give you an in-depth assessment before prescribe the treatment to test the severity of your problem.) The oral appliance pushes the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open while you sleep. Our patients report seeing their sleep apnea problems disappear after only a few nights. One of the best parts about the oral appliance is that it’s comfortable and will never disrupt your sleep partner.
We hope you understand that sleep apnea is more than an annoyance or just simply snoring. It can affect your oral health, overall physical health, and mental health. If you’ve been told that you snore, or you show any of the signs we listed above, give us a call today at 774-225-0618 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Znad has trained to treat your sleep apnea issues, and has helped many patients achieve a better night’s rest.
If needed, we’ll schedule a sleep test to pinpoint the cause of your problem and set up the most necessary treatment.