Breathe Easier Tonight
If you’ve been told that you snore loudly or wake up exhausted despite sleeping all night, there’s a good chance you have sleep apnea in Windermere. This chronic disorder can have a severe impact on the quality of your sleep and your health. If you think you might be suffering from this condition, call Windermere Dentistry right away; we can help you diagnose and treat the problem so that you can enjoy a restful night again.
Sleep apnea is a very common sleep disorder. It usually manifests as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is where soft tissues near the back of your mouth or your throat collapse and block the airway. This stops you from breathing and causes loud snoring. It also forces your brain to wake you up so you can get some oxygen. These interruptions can happen several times every night, preventing you from getting a full night’s sleep.
There are a few different risk factors for sleep apnea. Obesity is a common cause; the increased mass and fat deposits around your neck can put pressure on and restrict your airway. Other potential contributors include chronic nasal congestion, smoking, alcohol, diabetes, gender (men are twice as likely to have the disorder than women) and age.
One of the biggest signs of sleep apnea is loud, chronic snoring; your partner or a roommate will likely notice it before you do. It’s harder to notice sleep apnea on your own, but potential symptoms include:
- Frequently waking up with a sore or dry throat
- Morning headaches
- Occasionally waking up gasping for air
- Feeling fatigued, irritable or depressed during the daytime
- Loss of cognitive abilities
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory loss
At first glance, these symptoms might just seem annoying at first, but the consequences of untreated sleep apnea can be deadly. The disorder puts a strain on your heart and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. Also, the lack of sleep can leave you tired and more prone to workplace and automobile accidents.
The first step in treating sleep apnea is to confirm you have it by undergoing a sleep study. Once the disorder’s been diagnosed, we can recommend treatment for you. The traditional treatment is a CPAP machine that continuously delivers air to your lungs throughout the night via a mask worn over the mouth or nose; this stops the airway from collapsing while you’re asleep. Unfortunately, the noise of the machine can often keep patients awake – defeating the purpose of treating their sleep apnea in the first place.
An oral appliance from Windermere Dentistry can be an excellent alternative to CPAP. The device is custom-made for your mouth and is worn like a mouthguard. Its job is to reposition your lower jaw into a forward position, thus opening the airway. This form of treatment is more comfortable compared to a CPAP machine; it’s also more convenient to pack while traveling.