Signs of Sleep Apnea
Is loud snoring keeping you or your partner up at night? Do you find yourself waking up feeling tired, headachy, and somewhat grumpy? If you have been told that your nocturnal sawing of wood has reached ear-splitting decibels, and you suspect that your quality of sleep is not quite what it should be, there is a very good chance that you may be suffering from a serious sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. While sleep apnea may seem more annoying than anything, we here at Oral & Facial Institute of Houston really must emphasize how dangerous this condition can be, and how important it is to seek treatment for it if you believe you may have it.
What is Sleep Apnea?
While it may seem like sleep apnea is just a bothersome condition that causes snoring and interrupts your, it is a very serious medical condition. Sleep apnea is a disorder that occurs when the sufferer stops breathing at night. This can lead to choking and sputtering and the individual waking up. Several episodes can occur per hour, every single night.
There are three main types of sleep apnea. The most common type is called “obstructive sleep apnea,” and it occurs when the airway becomes closed off when the person is asleep. It normally occurs due to the muscles in the throat, becoming relaxed, and the airway becomes closed. Next, there is “central sleep apnea”. The cause for this type is different from obstructive sleep apnea, and it occurs when the brain does not communicate properly with your breathing muscles.
Finally, the least common type of sleep apnea is called “complex sleep apnea syndrome,” and it is a combination of the other two types of sleep apnea.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Many clues can point to the presence of sleep apnea. One of the more common ones is snoring. Other signs of sleep apnea can include choking and gasping for air while the individual sleeps. They may wake up with a headache or a dry mouth, and they can find themselves feeling fatigued during the daytime. Poor mood is also associated with sleep apnea, too.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious complications such as diabetes, heart disease, and even death. Treating it, therefore, is vital.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Depending on the type of sleep apnea and the severity of it, there are many different treatment options available. One way a person can address their sleep apnea is to undergo lifestyle changes. Because smoking and obesity are associated with sleep apnea, losing weight, and stopping smoking can be helpful.
Other treatment options can include oral appliances that can be used at night to help keep the airways open. A CPAP machine can also be beneficial to someone who is struggling with sleep apnea. If the sleep apnea persists, surgical intervention may be necessary. This can include removing the tonsils or other tissue from the mouth and throat.
If you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, or you are simply tired of being poked in the ribs at night when you sleep due to your snoring, then it is critical that you reach out to us right away. For more information, or to set up an appointment with us here at Oral & Facial Institute of Houston, please give us a call today!