Thinking That You Have Sleep Apnea: Here's What You Should Know

Thinking That You Have Sleep Apnea: Here's What You Should Know

Mar 01, 2021

Sleep apnea is one of those conditions that can creep up on you. In most cases, patients will tend to ignore or dismiss the symptoms and pass them off as something else. This is what makes the disease more dangerous. Many people suffer from this sleep disorder, and many more don’t even know that they are suffering from it.

Since sleep apnea can easily go unnoticed, you need to visit our sleep apnea clinic in Calgary when you suspect that you are exhibiting the symptoms. If you don’t promptly seek sleep apnea treatment options offered by our prosthodontist in Calgary, you are increasing the risk of developing other severe health issues.

Don’t fret, though; our prosthodontist near you has the solutions that will help you sleep better.

About Sleep Apnea

In a nutshell, if you have pauses or interruptions of your breathing when you are asleep, you most likely have sleep apnea. It is a sleep disorder that affects your breathing. At times, you might even stop breathing close to a hundred times in a single night, and you might not even have a clue.

In other words, your body becomes oxygen-deprived. This means that your organs, including the brain, will be getting very low oxygen. This can have very severe health implications.

You might have noticed that you may wake up with a sensation of gasping, or you might snort or choke in the middle of your sleep each night. This typically happens when the airways open up after you have stopped breathing.

There are two main types of sleep apnea:

  • OSA (Obstructive sleep apnea). Most people who have sleep apnea, suffer from OSA. This type is characterized by a blockage in the airways, which is caused by a collapse of the soft tissue at the throat.
  • CSA (Central sleep apnea). This is less common and is slightly different from OSA. The interruption of your breathing is caused by the brain failing to signal the muscles to breathe because the brain’s respiratory control center is unstable.

Are There Any Risk Factors?

Sleep apnea can affect virtually anyone, even your children. However, some risk factors increase the chances of you having sleep apnea:

  • Being male
  • Smoking
  • Being over 40 years
  • If you have large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw
  • Recessed chin or a large overbite
  • Family history
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Nasal blockage due to allergies or sinus issues or a deviated septum
  • Having a large neck (17 plus inches in men and 16 plus inches in women)

How Can Sleep Apnea Affect Your Health?

Although sleep apnea can make you feel tired, there are much worse side effects to your overall health:

  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Failure
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems

How Can You Know That You Have Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea symptoms can sometimes go unnoticed. Oftentimes it is a partner or roommate that first notices a suffers symptoms.

You or your partner may notice the following:

  • Loud snoring
  • Insomnia or restless sleep
  • Heartburn
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Decreased libido or erectile dysfunction
  • Morning headache
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Waking up with a sore throat or a dry mouth
  • Waking up many times to urinate

How to Test for Sleep Apnea

If you have a feeling that you have this disorder, come and see our prosthodontist in Calgary. An evaluation has to be done to check your breathing and body functions. Our prosthodontist near you will send you home with a portable and easy-to-use home sleep test.

The device will test the heart rate, blood oxygen levels, airflow, and breathing patterns. This will be monitored for two days. When you get the results, you can seek the different sleep apnea treatment options that are available.

How Is It Treated?

Depending on the level and the cause of the disorder, our prosthodontist near you may recommend:

Lifestyle Changes

If you have mild OSA, the following home remedies can be used:

  • Stop smoking
  • Try side sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Treat nasal allergies

Other Therapies

If the above remedies are ineffective, then our prosthodontist can recommend the following:

  • Oral appliances. These are small devices, similar to a night guard, that are used to stop the airways from being blocked. They the airways open by bringing your jaw forward. They are most effective for people who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA, or those who cannot tolerate a CPAP machine.
  • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). This is a machine that constantly provides positive pressure air, thus keeping your airways open. This treatment is most effective for people who have been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a severe condition. Contact our prosthodontist in Calgary at Northwest Prosthodontics if you need sleep apnea treatment.

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