Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that causes your airway to collapse while you sleep. While you may not notice, your brain does, and it will wake you up just enough to get you breathing again, sometimes hundreds of times in the night. This may cause you to feel tired.
What’s so bad about sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea ranges from mild to severe, but it’s always considered a serious sleep disorder and in most cases treatment is recommended. Sleep apnea is associated with:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Irregular heart beats
- And more…
What causes sleep apnea?
There are a few identified causes of sleep apnea:
Too Much Weight | Studies have shown that overweight/obesity happens in association with sleep apnea.
Swollen Tonsils/Adenoids | Enlarged tonsils/adenoids can obstruct your airway.
Menopause | Studies have shown an increase in sleep apnea with a decrease of estrogen. During menopause, your body’s estrogen levels decline.
A Large Neck | If you have a large neck, the muscles and tissues can shrink the air flow to the brain.
How can I treat sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can be scary, but the good news is that there are a couple of treatment options that can help you!
- CPAP | CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This is a machine that connects to your nose and/or mouth through a mask and provides pressurized air to your lungs throughout the night!
- Oral Appliance Therapy | Oral appliances are custom-made and slide onto your teeth, much like a night guard would. Oral appliances keep your jaw open to maintain your airway unobstructed.
What should I do first?
If you suspect you have sleep apnea first have a consult with a professional who treats sleep disorders. If needed, a sleep study will measure the actual amount and quality of a night’s sleep. This can be done at a sleep lab or at home. Caldwell Dental can provide everything you need for an at home sleep study. From the sleep study the best course of action will be determined and discussed with you.
There are many positive effects that accompany treating sleep apnea, such as feeling more rested, having fewer headaches, being more productive and in a better mood. It should be noted that having a happy sleeping partner and avoiding premature death are real outcomes as well.
At Caldwell Dental we know how beneficial treatment can be and are standing by to discuss your options. Call for an appointment today!