So you’ve been told by a partner or other family member that you snore. Maybe you don’t understand what the big deal is — it’s an inconvenience and nothing else, right?
Actually, in addition to being disruptive to the sleep of those around you, snoring may be indicative of a much more serious condition called sleep apnea.
This sleep disorder is far more than an inconvenience. It is downright dangerous. It is believed to afflict around 22 million Americans, with an astonishing eighty percent of those undiagnosed.
At Edgewood Dental Care of Edgewood, KY, we have treatments designed to get you sleeping soundly and safely through the night. To book an appointment, call our Edgewood, KY office at 859-474-7830.
A Blocked Airway
The disorder comes in two forms. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain doesn’t communicate correctly to the muscles that enable us to breath. Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common. This happens when a physical obstruction blocks the airway — typically, collapsed soft tissue from the back of the throat.
If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, you literally stop breathing up to hundreds of times every night. This deprives your brain and body of much-needed oxygen and inhibits your ability to get the rest you need.
The effects of the disease are numerous and wide ranging. It’s been shown to contribute to systemic conditions including high blood pressure, stroke, heart problems, diabetes, depression, and headaches. It may worsen adhd symptoms.
It also makes day-to-day life difficult, due to fatigue. Sufferers may experience daytime drowsiness and are more likely to be involved in car crashes. You may become moody, have trouble concentrating, and not function well at work. Your partner may lose up to an hour of sleep every night as well!
Be Aware of Your Risk
The disorder can affect anyone, but some people are at a higher risk than others. Here are a few things that may increase your likelihood of developing sleep apnea.
- You are obese.
- You have a thick neck (which often indicates a narrow airway).
- You are male.
- You have a family history of the problem.
- You smoke or use alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers.
- You suffer from nasal congestion.
Symptoms Beyond Snoring
Snoring is the most obvious symptom, but you may suffer from other consequences as well. Here are some common signs of the disease.
- Chronic insomnia.
- Frequent awakening throughout the night, often with a start.
- You tend to wake up in the morning with a dry mouth, sore throat, or headache.
- Difficulty staying awake during the day.
- Moodiness or irritability.
- Trouble concentrating or paying attention.
- Periods of not breathing (as witnessed by another person).
At Edgewood Dental Care, we can give you an at-home sleep test to determine how you’re sleeping. If indicated, we can provide you with a custom snore guard or CPAP therapy to get you sleeping continuously — and quietly — through the night.