You need at least 7 hours of sleep every night, but if something’s interrupting your breathing, you’ll constantly be waking up for air, depriving your body of crucial rest. When breathing is regularly interrupted while you’re asleep, it’s a disorder known as sleep apnea. If you snore loudly or feel tired during the day, you may very well have sleep apnea in West Edmonton, and you need to act quickly to make sure that it doesn’t take its toll on your health. Contact Time to Care Dental today to set up a consultation and see what steps you can take to have your sleep apnea treated so that you can enjoy peaceful nights again.
What is Sleep Apnea?
There are a few different forms of sleep apnea, but the most common kind is when the muscles or the back of your throat relax and block your airway. This is called obstructive sleep apnea. It can be difficult to recognize the symptoms by yourself since they all occur while you’re asleep, but you should consider sleep apnea as a possibility if any of these symptoms are brought to your attention:
- Feeling exceptionally tired or sleepy during the day
- Chronic, louder than normal snoring
- Experiencing headaches or a dry throat when waking up
- Occasionally waking up gasping for air (which may be occurring more frequently than you realize)
- Decreased mental function in the form of memory loss and having difficulty concentrating
Dangers of Sleep Apnea
While the snoring and exhaustion caused by sleep apnea can be nuisances, they are not the biggest danger you have to worry about. Waking up constantly during the night means that your brain spends little if any time in REM sleep – the stage of sleep responsible for learning and retaining memories. Your mental state will suffer as a result, and that can lead to depression as well as decreased focus and reaction time on the road. Also, you may be more likely to develop heart disease and other dangerous health conditions as a side effect of the lack of sleep. Too many people let sleep apnea go untreated for a long time, and their bodies suffer as a result. As soon as you suspect you might have sleep apnea, you need to get in touch with a doctor that can help you get a diagnosis.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Once you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you can seek treatment that will help keep your airways clear while you’re asleep. The traditional method for doing so CPAP therapy, which pushes air through your airway via a nasal mask. This method is highly effective, but many find it uncomfortable, and the noise may make it harder to fall asleep. Our office can provide you with custom-made oral appliances instead. The device shifts the jaw slightly so that the airway remains unblocked while you’re asleep. Oral appliances are small and easy to use, and they’re personalized so that they fit perfectly on your teeth.