Why is it that when you need to have a good night of sleep you always seem to toss and turn? Those occasional sleepless nights—like the one before a big presentation at work—are actually quite harmless. Studies even show that you’ll still be able to perform just fine the next day.
Trouble arises when you feel fatigued day after day. In that case, you may not be getting quality sleep during the night. The reason may be sleep apnea, a chronic medical condition that pauses breathing while you sleep. Fortunately, sleep apnea is treatable if a sleep study shows that you have the condition.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
There are actually two types of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is a neurologically based condition. On the other hand, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is the more common of the two, happens when throat tissue relaxes while you’re sleeping. As a result, the tissue tends to fall back, blocking part of your airway.
What are the Symptoms of OSA?
The most common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea is that unmistakable sound that your partner probably hears—snoring. This happens because the air that you are able to breathe vibrates the tissue blocking your airway.
Other frequent symptoms are:
- A dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
- Frequently needing to urinate during the night
- A headache when you wake up
- Daytime fatigue
- Irritability or depression
- Difficulty concentrating and remembering
How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
According to sleepapnea.org, sleep apnea can only be definitively diagnosed with a sleep study done overnight in a sleep lab or at home. The study produces records of several activities during the night, including a measurement of brain waves (EEG) and the different stages of sleep; a measurement of heart rate and rhythm (EKG); your respiration; and the highs and lows of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in your blood. The testing procedure as a whole is known formally as polysomnography.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
A CPAP—Continuous Positive Air Pressure—machine used to be the only way to treat sleep apnea. However, many patients did not use the CPAP machine nightly, because it is bulky and uncomfortable.
Now, however, a simple oral appliance can be prescribed. Often called a snoreguard, the appliance fits in your mouth and gently shifts your lower jaw and tongue slightly forward in order to keep your airway open for free and easy breathing.
If you think that you may have sleep apnea, then see a dentist in Clinton Township who can diagnose and treat the condition for you.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. Mindy Salzberg-Siegel is a family and cosmetic dentist. For sleep apnea in Clinton Township, she has helped many patients with a snoreguard that allows them to breath and get the rest they need.