Are you constantly being nagged by your spouse about your loud snoring, or woke up in the morning with a headache and feeling more tired than when you went to sleep the previous night? Then you’re probably experiencing sleep apnea, a condition that affects more than 18 million American adults. Sleep apnea can lead to more serious health problems if you don’t get help immediately from an Atlanta cosmetic dentist.
A Typical Sleep Apnea Episode
You might not notice it while you sleep but with sleep apnea, your breathing becomes interrupted or very shallow, with interruptions typically lasting between 10 and 20 seconds and occurring up to a hundred times a night. Due to these interruptions, the oxygen levels in your blood begin to drop, and the brain responds to this sudden drop by disturbing your sleep for you to begin breathing again. This often results in a choking or gasping sound and awakening while you sleep; at times you don’t even remember stirring awake. In the long run, sleep apnea can cause serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain.
Telltale Signs of Sleep Apnea
It’s often difficult to diagnose yourself with sleep apnea since you don’t generally notice the state of your sleep. Often, snoring isn’t a sure sign of sleep apnea, as most people who snore don’t have this condition (although those who do have sleep apnea snore). There are other signs of sleep apnea, however, that you need to watch out for. These include feeling exhausted and sleepy during the day despite a full night’s sleep. This is due to the fact that your brain isn’t receiving adequate oxygen while you sleep.
Another way to ascertain that you indeed have sleep apnea is to ask for your spouse’s help in monitoring your sleep and, aside from loud snoring, watch if you have pauses in breathing, along with episodes of gasping.
Treatments for Sleep Apnea
After establishing that you, indeed, have sleep apnea, you’d want to know how to treat this condition. One option, which you can find in Atlanta cosmetic dentistry practices, is a mandibular advancement device or snore guard. This closely resembles a mouth guard that’s often used in sports. The snore guard forces the lower jaw down and slightly forward to help keep the airway open and prevent snoring should there be episodes of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is now commonly known, but not everyone is aware of the symptoms associated with it. If you suspect you have the condition, it would be good to consult trusted dentists in Atlanta like those from Buckhead Esthetic Dentistry. In tackling sleep apnea now, you can sleep more comfortably and be healthier.
Clues You Might Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, WebMD
Sleep Apnea, Help Guide