One of the most common sleep disorders is sleep apnea, which occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted while they’re sleeping. The condition typically causes snoring and leaves people feeling fatigued during the day, as well as disrupting their nighttime rest. Sleep apnea often goes undetected for a long time because many people don’t feel any symptoms when it’s happening. It has also been linked to heart disease and stroke, depression and anxiety, increased risk of car accidents, and other medical issues.
You can consult a Memphis, TN dentist for a comprehensive check-up and treatment plan for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is more common among men than women. It’s also more common in people who’ve been overweight or obese. Some other risk factors include having a family history of sleep apnea or another breathing disorder (such as asthma), being male, and being 35 or older
About 3 to 4 percent of people experience sleep apnea, which is about 2 million Americans. That doesn’t mean everyone with it has the same signs or symptoms, though. It can be difficult to recognize if you’re having sleep problems, particularly if you’re not feeling tired in the morning.
Different Types of Sleep Apnea
- Central sleep apnea
This form of sleep apnea is the most common, and it’s characterized by a cessation of breathing for 10 seconds or longer. It’s often associated with obesity and can be caused by tonsils or adenoids that are enlarged.
- Obstructive sleep apnea
This occurs when the upper airway narrows or blocks your throat as you sleep. Some people experience problems breathing as soon as they fall asleep, while others only have issues during certain phases of their sleeping cycle. You’ll usually experience loud snoring or gasping for air that awakens you from your slumber.
What Does Sleep Apnea Treatment Involve?
If you think you might have undiagnosed sleep apnea, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. This is especially true if you’re showing signs of serious medical problems that could be aggravated by the condition.
You might need to get an overnight sleep test, which involves keeping a monitor on your body for several nights and then seeing how well the sensors record the effects of sleep apnea. If your breathing habits are what are thought to be causing the breathing disturbances, you’ll likely get some type of oral appliance or full face mask that will help regulate your airway more effectively.
Oftentimes, a dentist will fit you with a special mouthguard designed to hold the jaw in an open position that can allow more air to pass through your throat and keep the upper airway from collapsing.