WHAT’S SLEEP APNEA?

It’s likely that you’re aware of the term “sleep apnea.” It’s also likely that you have it and don’t even know it. In fact, more than 12 million Americans have this condition, and potentially up to 90 percent of them are undiagnosed. But what is sleep apnea, and what are the most common symptoms accompanying the condition?

WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?

Simply put, sleep apnea is a condition that causes sufferers to momentarily stop breathing during sleep. This forces part of your brain to awaken in order to restore breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common version, and this refers to your airway collapsing, which causes breathing to stop. During sleep, the muscles that keep your airways open become relaxed. The jaw is the only reliable support for the airway, and if it’s in the wrong position, gravity will force your airway closed. This kind of apnea is associated with snoring, and it frequently occurs in older or overweight men.

CENTRAL SLEEP APNEA

A much less common type is central sleep apnea, where the brain stops regulating the body’s breathing during sleep. It is possible for people to be afflicted with both forms of apnea at the same time.

WHAT ARE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP APNEA?

Some common symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Snoring
  • Headaches occurring in the morning
  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Throat irritation and dry mouth
  • Memory issues and trouble concentrating
  • Weight gain

CONNECTED HEALTH ISSUES

Those diagnosed with sleep apnea can also suffer from other health problems, including:

  • Strokes
  • Diabetes
  • Heart attacks
  • Mood disorders
  • Coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure

If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, or if you have a spouse or partner keeping you awake due to snoring, we can help. There are numerous successful treatment methods and sleep apnea solutions, and at Good Night Dentistry, we can narrow down the apnea treatment that’s right for you. For more information or to schedule an appointment in the Mooresville area, contact us online or by phone today.

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