Sleep Apnea: What Are the Warning Signs and How Is It Treated?

Sleep Apnea: What Are the Warning Signs and How Is It Treated?

Sep 01, 2021

Waking up exhausted when you have slept through the whole night is not a good feeling. What’s even worse is not knowing the cause of your fatigue. For this reason, you need to seek sleep apnea treatment since chronic fatigue, even after a good night’s rest, is one of the glaring signs of this sleep disorder.

Sleep apnea is often overlooked, and close to 50 million people in America have this sleep disorder. The number could be way higher than this since countless more don’t even know that they suffer from this condition.

In most cases, it goes unnoticed since the symptoms of sleep apnea may mimic other conditions. However, there are glaring signs that indicate that you have this sleep disorder. If left untreated, it can cause other adverse health issues.

But don’t fret; we have different sleep apnea treatments to ensure that you sleep as you should.

About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is among the most common sleep disorders characterized by breathing interruptions while you are sleeping. You might stop breathing so many times in one night, up to a hundred times. Therefore, depriving your body, including the brain, of a steady supply of oxygen.

Sadly enough is that you might not even notice that you have stopped breathing. The only thing is that when the airway is open, you might snort, gasp, take a deep breath, or even wake up with a sensation of choking.

Sleep apnea causes may differ depending on the type. There are two categories of sleep apnea:

  • OSA (obstructive sleep apnea): This is the most prevalent form of sleep apnea. It occurs when your airway is blocked because the soft tissue at the back of your throat has collapsed when you are sleeping
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA): With CSA, your brain fails to signal your muscles to breathe since the respiratory control center is unstable.

What Are the Risk Factors?

Sleep apnea is not an age-restricting condition, meaning that your child can also be affected. However, some of the risks factors that you need to peel your eyes for are:

  • If you are above 40 years
  • Being male
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Smoking
  • Menopause
  • Having a small jaw bone, large tonsils, or large tongue
  • Family history
  • Nasal obstructions because of sinus issues or allergies
  • If you have a large neck more than 16 inches in females and 17 inches in males
  • Large overbite or recessed chin

What Are the Symptoms?

As mentioned before, you may notice sleep apnea symptoms. However, a roommate or family member may notice that you have stopped breathing or are snorting. In any case, these are the symptoms:

  • Restless sleep or insomnia
  • Heartburn
  • Loud snoring
  • Decreased libido or erectile dysfunction
  • Irritability
  • Waking up severally at night to urinate
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Morning headache
  • Waking up with a sore throat
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Breathing interruptions while asleep (noticed by a roommate or sleep buddy)

How Is It Treated?

You should peel your eyes for this sleep disorder, more so if you are in the high-risk category. This sleep disorder can lead to high blood pressure, headaches, diabetes, depression, and other severe health conditions.

The whole aim of seeking sleep apnea treatment is to normalize your breathing. Plus, the method of treatment is dependent on the cause and the severity of the sleep disorder.

If it is mild, our dentist may recommend lifestyle changes such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Stop smoking
  • Side sleeping
  • Seek treatment for nasal allergies if sleep apnea is caused by nasal congestion
  • Avoid alcohol

However, if it is moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, our dentist may offer the following therapies:

  • Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADS)

These are oral devices that resemble mouthguards. They operate by pushing your lower jaw and tongue forward; therefore, preventing the blockage of your airways when you are asleep.

  • Tongue Retaining Mouthpieces

If your jaw cannot be repositioned using the mandibular advancement devices, tongue retaining mouthpieces is the next option. They operate by holding your tongue in place through suction, so your airways will remain open.

If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, you should visit our dentist to ascertain whether your suspicions are true. But don’t ignore it since you run the risk of developing further complications. Therefore, contact us today at Steven F. Hinchey, DMD, to schedule an appointment.

860-633-6518 Book Appointment