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Don’t let sleepless nights impact your daily routine any longer. If you feel like you’re constantly exhausted throughout the day and find yourself struggling to sleep, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. At Triad Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide treatments for sleep apnea to help you achieve quality sleep and feel better throughout the day. Learn all about sleep apnea and our innovative treatments with our guide below.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious health condition that causes lapses in breathing during sleep. When these lapses in breathing occur, your body will typically jolt you awake but it’s uncommon for patients to remember these episodes. That’s why some patients may not even know they suffer from a sleep disorder.
Types of Sleep Apnea
The sleep disorder can be seen in different forms, however, there are two that are the most common — obstructive and central. There’s also a third type of sleep apnea called mixed sleep apnea, which is a combination of the two. The general population suffers mostly from obstructive sleep apnea, but it’s crucial to know the difference between the two.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form and occurs when an obstruction in your throat interrupts your breathing pattern. The obstruction typically happens when the soft muscles in the throat relax, blocking the airway and causing you to snore. You’ll stop breathing for seconds at a time, which your brain will recognize and wake you up. It’s so brief that most people don’t remember waking. However, this pattern can repeat up to 30 times throughout the night, taking a toll on your sleep quality.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain and the nervous system fail to communicate through proper breathing signals. This means your ability to breathe is impaired and you may wake up short of breath or have trouble falling asleep.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
It’s common to suffer from sleep apnea and not even know it. That’s why it’s important to know what to look out for. Some of the most common sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Frequent snoring
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Waking up with a dry or sore throat
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Morning headaches
- Mood changes, like irritability or depression
- Difficulty concentrating
- Reduced libido
- Recent weight gain
- Memory loss
If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms listed above, don’t hesitate to call our Archdale office at (336) 434-3186 to make an appointment.
Sleep Apnea’s Risk to Your Health
Not only does sleep apnea affect your daily life, but it can also take a toll on your overall health. Research has found that sleep apnea can increase your risk of heart failure, type 2 diabetes, depression, and high blood pressure. To help avoid these life-threatening ailments, it’s best to seek out treatment as soon as you or a loved one suspect the sleep disorder.
Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea
Some factors that are associated with sleep apnea and may increase your risk of developing it include:
- Gender — males are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea
- Age — older adults typically suffer from sleep apnea
- Being overweight or obese
- A large neck circumference
- Enlarged tissues, such as tonsils or adenoids
- Tobacco intake
- Alcohol consumption
If I snore, does that mean I have sleep apnea?
If you snore, you may be suffering from sleep apnea, but that’s not always the case. Snoring occurs in patients with sleep apnea due to a blockage in the airway that interferes with their ability to breathe properly. If your snoring is accompanied by large gasps for air, abrupt awakenings, and excessive daytime fatigue, then you may have a sleep disorder.
The best way to determine if your snoring is caused by a sleep disorder is to undergo a sleep test.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Sleep apnea is diagnosed through a sleep study. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, contact Dr. Macdonald to schedule a consultation. After a thorough examination, he may recommend undergoing a sleep study. This test can be done in a laboratory or the comfort of your own home.
During the sleep test, you’ll be carefully monitored and evaluated overnight to determine whether you’re suffering from sleep apnea. We’ll also provide a rhinometer and pharyngometer analysis to measure your nasal capacity and airway size.
Can exercise get rid of sleep apnea?
Incorporating exercise into your daily routine may lessen the severity of your sleep apnea. Dr. Macdonald may recommend you make these specific lifestyle changes in addition to undergoing oral appliance therapy. In combination, you should start to see your sleep apnea symptoms begin to diminish.
Schedule Your Consultation With Dr. Macdonald Today!
Don’t let sleep apnea wreak havoc on your life any longer. With customized and effective treatments, you can make sleep apnea a thing of the past. To learn more about our sleep apnea treatment options at Triad Cosmetic Dentistry, call our Archdale office at (336) 434-3186. You can also get in touch by filling out our easy online contact form. We proudly serve the Winston-Salem, High Point, and Greensboro areas.