How often do you wake up in the morning and feel as if you haven’t slept enough? We all have those days when we feel sleep deprived even after a night’s sleep and drag through the day tired and fatigued. But the important question to ask yourself is how often it happens to you. If it is a regular occurrence you could be one among many who struggle with sleep disorders. Now expert dentists have come up with a solution for living with this condition. Let us learn more about sleep apnea first.
One of the most prevalent sleep disorder that is seen among our generation is sleep apnea. It is a condition where your breathing repeatedly stops and restarts while you sleep. It is a potentially dangerous condition that can escalate into a heart attack or failure.
The easily identifiable symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, waking up with a dry mouth or a headache, difficulty staying asleep, excessive sleepiness during the daytime, attention issues, and irritability. If you have one or more of these symptoms, it is recommended that you visit your doctor at the earliest.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
As mentioned before, its the obstruction in your breathing pattern while you are sleeping. There are mainly two types of sleep apnea. Let us learn more about it –
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This is caused when the muscles in the back of your throat relax in your, blocking the air passage through the path. The muscles are the ones that support the soft palate, uvula, tonsils, side walls of your throat and tongue. When these muscles relax, it closes or obstructs the airway, cutting you off from the required oxygen supply to your blood. This causes your brain to sense the situation and briefly and rouse you from sleep so that you can go back to your normal breathing pattern. This might make you choke, gasp or snort in your sleep. Studies show that this can happen almost 30 times during your sleep leaving you sleepless and tired in the morning.
- Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea is a rare condition when your brain’s respiratory controls are impaired and it fails to transmit the signal to the muscles that assist you in breathing. This leads to a condition where you stop breathing for a short time, with no effort made for the same. After a brief episode of this, you wake up gasping for air when ur neurological feedback mechanism signals your body to wake you up. This whole cycle can result in lost sleep and tiredness in the morning.
- Mixed Sleep Apnea
Sometimes, both the conditions appear in the same individual. This happens mostly when the obstructive sleep apnea is treated with CPAP, which cases central sleep apnea to emerge. Sleep apnea can lead to further complications like heart attack, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, irregular, and obesity.
Your chances for sleep apnea is more if you are a male, if you are obese or if you have a family history of the condition. This can also arise if you have physical traits like a thicker neck or narrowed airway due to tonsils. Sleep apnea is also seen in smokers and people who consume alcohol or tranquilizers which could relax the throat muscles during the sleep.
Treating your Sleep Apnea
Normally, if your symptoms point towards sleep apnea, the doctors will put you to a sleep study to determine the severity of the condition. Obstructive sleep apnea is treated with an appliance called CPAP machine, though most people find it very uncomfortable. This is where your dentist can help you.
Many people with the condition now opt for an oral application for re-aligning their jaw and reposition the tongue forward. This allows a clear airway while sleeping, reducing the chances of your throat closing up completely and deliver needed amount of oxygen into your system. And this will allow you to wake up feeling well slept and energetic. To know more about the custom fit oral device designed specifically to help treat your condition talk to your dentist in Dubai today.