Sleep apnea is a common condition many Americans experience that obstructs their sleep and in-turn affects their daily lives. In fact, many do not even know that sleep apnea is the cause of their overwhelming tiredness during the day. This is why we have compiled a few frequently asked questions to better help you understand this disorder and how your dentist can treat it.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder in which you experience one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. The breathing pauses usually last a few seconds or minutes and can occur for more than an hour. Sleep apnea is a severe condition that disrupts sleep. When you have breathing pauses or shallow breaths, your sleeping pattern often moves out of deep sleep into a light sleep. This ultimately affects the quality of your sleep, which makes you tired during the day.
How do I determine if I have sleep apnea?
Many people who have sleep apnea may not know they have it because it occurs during sleep. Sometimes sleep apnea can go undiagnosed because no blood tests can help detect the problem.
However, obstructive sleep apnea can become worse if not diagnosed and treated early. Patients with this condition usually have their airways collapsing or becoming blocked during sleep. This causes breathing pauses or shallow breathing. When you try to breathe, the air tries to squeeze past the blockage causing loud snoring.
Untreated sleep apnea can result in:
- Increased risk of heart failure
- Increased risk of obesity, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes
- Making arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) more likely
- Increased likelihood of having driving or work-related accidents
It is important to seek appropriate medical evaluation and treatment when you experience signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea such as loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, and repeated nighttime awakenings.
How can my dentist help?
As a top-rated sleep apnea and snoring specialist in Chula Vista, Dr. Risos believes that a good night’s sleep is essential for good health. That’s why she is committed to providing you with excellent sleep apnea treatment and oral appliances to help you have a good night’s sleep. To find out more, schedule your consultation by contacting your Chula Vista dentist today!