At St. Mary’s Dental in Mechanicsville MD, we often see patients who have been struggling with deficient sleep for months, or even years. Some of these people end up being diagnosed with sleep apnea or related conditions.
You Can’t Just “Tough It Out”
The reluctance to request treatment is lamentable, because it negatively impacts on their health and reduces their quality of life. If they are keeping someone up at night, it makes life more onerous for that person, as well.
Protect Your Health
For some odd reason, many individuals don’t consider sleep apnea a pressing issue. Why the disconnect? We are talking about breathing, folks! There isn’t a biological function more fundamental than that. And poor sleep can cause a myriad of serious health issues. It also influences performance in every aspect of life; work, recreation, and social activities.
Sleep apnea is a condition where you have frequent, intermittent gaps in breathing while you sleep. These pauses can last for up to 60 seconds, and are caused by soft tissue in the back of the throat that relaxes and cuts off the airway. As you can probably imagine, when our brain is not getting enough oxygen it hinders vital biological processes.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Cause: Throat muscles soften and cover the airway. This is the most prevalent type.
Central Sleep Apnea
Cause: The brain doesn’t send signals to the muscles that regulate breathing.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome (Treatment-emergent Central Sleep Apnea)
Both of the previous conditions are present in this type.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
- Loud snoring
- Abrupt awakenings where you are choking or feel “out of breath”
- Pauses in breathing while sleeping (as evidenced by another person observing the behavior)
- Sore throat or dry mouth after sleeping
- Fitful sleep
- Falling asleep while performing normal daily activities
- Inability to concentrate during the day
- Depression and irritability
- Awakening with a headache
- Excessive fatigue
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