You feel soooo tired, even after a night of sleep.
You want to have more energy for your kids, for your spouse, for your friends, yet you never seem to feel rested. You were even embarrassed that time when some of your co-workers caught you falling asleep.
Your fatigue could be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, which is a sleep disorder that can cause a variety of health problems.
But you can get help at our dentist office in Aberdeen, SD. We offer sleep apnea treatments at Aberdeen Smiles that could help you and your loved ones sleep easier.
Effects Of Untreated Sleep Apnea
You probably saw the news when Carrie Fisher, the actress known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies, died last fall. She had been open with her struggles with addiction throughout her life, but it was still a surprise when her autopsy was released last month.
Sleep apnea was listed as one of her causes of death.
With that in mind, you might not be surprised to learn that sleep apnea increases your risk of:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart attacks
- Car accidents
When you have sleep apnea, you stop breathing multiple times throughout the night. Among other things, this decreases the oxygen levels in your blood, and that puts added stress on your heart.
For someone with mild sleep apnea, these breathing stoppages can occur up to 14 times per hour. For patients with severe sleep apnea, the stoppages take place more than 30 times per hour.
Your body responds to these stoppages by waking you up briefly so you breathe again. For someone with mild sleep apnea, this can mean waking up dozens of times every night. In more severe cases, patients can wake ups hundreds of times nightly without knowing it.
This brings us to the next thing you should know about this sleep disorder.
Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea affects people in different ways, but there are some common symptoms. Please contact someone about getting tested for sleep apnea if you are are experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Loud and constant snoring
- Frequent breathing stoppages in your sleep
- Waking up with a dry mouth or a sore throat
- Irritability or mood swing
- Frequent feelings of fatigue
- Frequent daytime sleepiness
You may need to ask your spouse or family if they have noticed these symptoms.
Everyone snores sometimes, but people with obstructive sleep apnea seem to snore all night, every night. There’s a decent chance that your spouse or your family has mentioned your snoring to you if this has been a persistent problem.
Treating Sleep Apnea
When people fall asleep their muscles become more relaxed. For people with obstructive sleep apnea, this allows soft tissues to collapse into their airways making it more difficult for them to breathe.
The narrowing of the airways also increases the frequency and the volume of their snoring. That is until their airways are cut off completely and they stop breathing.
The most common treatment is a CPAP machine. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines work by pushing air into the patient’s airways.
The air pressure of the CPAP is delivered by wearing a mask while you sleep. This pressure keeps the airways open so the patient can breathe throughout the night.
It can take some getting used to wearing the mask before people enjoy the full benefits of a night of deep, restful sleep. Unfortunately, some patients never adjust to their CPAPs, and some people give up trying to use them. That’s not helping their sleep apnea, and that’s not helping their spouses sleep any easier either.
This is where our dentists in Aberdeen, SD, can help.
Our dentists can create an oral appliance for you. This appliance is worn while you sleep. It works by holding your jaw in a forward position. This helps your airways remain open while you sleep.
Again, you may need a little time to adjust to sleeping with the appliance. When you do, you can enjoy a full night of restful, healthy sleep.
And your spouse can sleep easier, too.