Sleep Apnea Is More Than Snoring
Sleep apnea is a dangerous disorder that causes you to completely stop breathing several times throughout the night as you sleep. This disturbs your sleep, leaving you feeling tired during the day. It can also negatively affect your interpersonal relationships if left untreated.
At Kew Dental Sleepcare, we understand the importance of quality and offer effective solutions to treat your sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The most obvious symptom of sleep apnea is snoring, but not all snorers suffer from the condition. If Dr. Bergida notices signs of sleep apnea, he may recommend a sleep study, which is the only way to get an accurate diagnosis. Then we’ll make sure you get the treatment that’s right for you. And if it turns out you’re not suffering from sleep apnea, we can still treat your snoring.
Some other sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
- Difficulty concentrating
- Depression or anxiety
- Morning headaches
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea that you might be diagnosed with. While the causes of them differ, all forms of sleep apnea impact your ability to get quality sleep and deprive your body of much-needed oxygen.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea—Patients who suffer from this type of sleep apnea have an obstruction somewhere along the airway that’s caused by excess tissue. In many cases, the blockage occurs when your tongue slides back into your throat while you’re sleeping.
Central Sleep Apnea—This form of sleep is caused by the brain misfiring signals during sleep. Your body is not properly receiving the message to “breathe” which leads to you waking up constantly throughout the night. CSA is usually triggered by an underlying condition and cannot be treated by a dentist. Treatment is usually focused on addressing the underlying cause.
Mixed/Complex Sleep Apnea—Patients may be diagnosed with this form of sleep apnea if they show signs of both obstructive and central sleep apnea or are resistant to CPAP or oral appliance therapy.
Risks of Sleep Apnea
Untreated sleep apnea can have serious and even deadly consequences. Research links sleep apnea to the following issues:
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Irregular heartbeat
- Mood disorders
- Decreased libido
How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Wellness
Not only does sleep apnea affect your quality of sleep, it also takes a toll on your overall well-being. Those who suffer from sleep apnea experience a reduction of oxygen in their bloodstream. This makes patients more susceptible to serious health conditions, such as strokes, heart disease, and obesity. It can also increase risks of developing mood disorders
Sleep apnea can impair your memory, immune system, and ability to complete everyday tasks. It’s also important to be aware of how daytime fatigue and drowsiness caused by sleep apnea may result in serious accidents while driving or operating machinery.
Treating Sleep Apnea
The first line of defense for treating sleep apnea is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine or CPAP. Though it’s effective, many patients stop using it altogether because it’s loud, awkward, and uncomfortable.
Fortunately, Dr. Robert Bergida offers a more comfortable alternative to CPAP, a custom-made oral appliance. It works by gently repositioning the jaw to keep your airway open, allowing you to sleep comfortably every night. Dr. Bergida understands that each patient is different, which is why oral appliance therapy is individualized to your unique needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What increases your risk for sleep apnea?
Family history, sex, age, and weight are all factors that can increase your risk for OSA. When a person is overweight, it makes them more vulnerable to OSA by increasing pressure on the airway. Alcohol and tobacco use can also exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms. Patients who have underlying medical issues with the heart or brain can be at a higher risk of CSA.
Will sleep apnea go away without treatment?
Unfortunately, sleep apnea is a condition that tends to worsen over time. It’s unlikely to disappear without treatment. Being proactive and seeking a diagnosis and appropriate therapy is the best way to preserve your health now and in the future. However, certain lifestyle changes can help relieve sleep apnea symptoms. Exercise, eating a healthier diet, losing weight, and refraining from smoking and drinking can reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Reclaim Your Sleep Today
Don’t let snoring or sleep apnea interfere with your life any longer. Sleep apnea can not only rob you of quality sleep but also impact your mind, body, and interpersonal relationships. If you’re ready to find relief, reclaim your quality sleep, or if you’re currently using CPAP and you’d like to learn about other options, contact our Kew Gardens office at (718) 849-9472 or fill out the form below to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Berdiga.