5 Essential Things You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea

5 Essential Things You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea

Jan 01, 2021

Sleep apnea is a prevalent sleeping disorder that obstructs your breathing while sleeping and makes you snore and make gasping sounds. Currently, it is estimated that over 30 million Americans are affected by sleep apnea. The worldwide estimate is about a billion people. With such statistics, there is a chance you might be suffering from the condition.

Unfortunately, it is quite challenging to figure you suffer from apnea if you live alone. Most significant sleep apnea symptoms occur when we are asleep. That’s probably why most cases of sleep apnea go undiagnosed.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three types of sleep apnea, which include:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of, and most people simply refer to it as sleep apnea. It is characterized by interrupted breathing patterns and loud snores.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central apnea is uncommon, and it often affects people with underlying health conditions. Unlike obstructive apnea, people affected by central sleep apnea rarely snore, making it even harder to notice without professional help. We are here for you if you are looking for a sleep apnea dental appliance in Smithtown, NY.

Mixed Sleep Apnea

Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea. It is quite uncommon, but it can affect people of all ages.

Causes of Sleep Apnea

At least 70 percent of people suffering from sleep apnea are overweight. However, that does not mean the condition affects only overweight people. Other factors that increase the risk for the condition include:

  • Genetics: If your family has a history of the condition, you will be at a higher risk.
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • High blood pressure
  • Gender: Men are at a higher risk of sleep apnea than women.
  • Untreated hypothyroidism

Signs and Symptoms

Sleep apnea is characterized by the following signs and symptoms.

  • Gasping for air in your sleep
  • Constant and loud snoring
  • Feeling too tired during the day despite having slept for more than seven hours.
  • Waking up with dry mouth and sore throat.
  • Morning headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Insomnia

If you have any of the above signs, it is wise to contact a dentist in Smithtown, NY, for diagnosis.

Sleep Apnea Side Effects

  • Due to the blocking of airwaves, sleep apnea can worsen asthma symptoms.
  • People suffering from sleep apnea are at higher risk of developing insulin resistance, which increases the risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • Sleep apnea increases the risk of fatty liver disease and liver scarring.
  • Sleep apnea increases the risk of obesity.
  • It can reduce your sexual desire and increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.
  • It affects your concentration and lessens your attention span.

Treatment Options

There are many treatment options for sleep apnea, and the most suitable for your condition will depend on the extent of the condition. Here are some of the most common treatments options:

Use of Appliances

There are many appliances designed to help combat sleep apnea. One of the most common ones is the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) appliance.

This appliance keeps your airways open, which stops snoring and helps you get a good night’s sleep. Just make sure to choose a comfortable appliance. Talk to us if you are looking for a dental appliance for sleep apnea.

Treatment of Associated Condition

As noted above, central sleep apnea is mostly caused by underlying medical conditions. If the underlying conditions are treated, the sleep apnea problem will be solved as well.

Supplemental Oxygen

Your doctor can suggest supplemental oxygen devices to treat central sleep apnea. These devices are often available in dental clinics.

Surgery

If all treatment options fail, the dentist may result in surgery. For a dentist to suggest surgery, you must have completed at least 30 days trying out the other treatment options. There are several types of surgeries conducted to cure sleep apnea, and they include:

  • Tissue shrinkage
  • Removal of tissue
  • Jaw repositioning
  • Implants (not dental implants, though)
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Nerve stimulation

Your dentist will choose the most suitable surgery for your condition. Our dentist in Los Angeles is here for you if you are looking for sleep apnea near you in LA.

Joseph B Pantaleo DDS

If you are looking for a family dentist near you in Smithtown, NY, you are in the right place. We diagnose and treat sleep apnea. You can also count on us for other dental services, including implants, bridges, cleanings, and more. Book an appointment now.

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