Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where breathing is stopped or obstructed. If you’re listening, it may seem like the sleeper takes long pauses in between breaths or breaths very shallowly. It is common among adults but children can have sleep apnea too.
During a sleep apnea episode, the airway is repeatedly blocked, which limits the flow of oxygen. It can become severe enough that carbon dioxide builds up in your blood, which has serious health implications including high blood pressure and heart disease.
You may not realize it, but if you suffer from sleep apnea, you are waking up many times each night as your body struggles to get the oxygen it needs. Some of the daytime signs and symptoms that you have sleep apnea include tiredness, morning headaches, difficulty concentrating, gastroesophageal reflux disease, impaired concentration, depression, irritability, and fatigue.
TYPES OF SLEEP APNEA:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A common type of sleep apnea that occurs when the connecting soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes while you sleep and the airway gets blocked, thus causing you to snore loudly.
Central Sleep Apnea: Less common, this type of apnea occurs when the central nervous system fails to send proper signals from the brain to the muscles which control breathing. Snoring is not always a symptom.
Complex Sleep Apnea: The combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea is known as complex sleep apnea.
TREATMENT FOR SLEEP APNEA
One of the latest treatments for sleep apnea treatment is continuous positive airflow pressure, administered by a device called a CPAP.
Provent, a nasal device that is non-invasive and quite effective can be used to treat moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.
Dentistry plays an invaluable role in the detection and treatment of sleep apnea. Speak to you dentist today if your loved ones have commented on your snoring or you experience unexplained tiredness, headache, irritability, and morning headaches.