Dentist answers, “What is sleep apnea?” for Longview, TX residents
It is estimated that as many as 18 million adult Americans have trouble with sleep apnea. This condition troubles men and women of all ages, although it is more common in males and in people as they age. There is no single cause for this sleep disorder. Potential reasons range from use of tobacco products and alcohol consumption, to problems with weight, the specifics in the formation of an individual’s upper airway components, or perhaps even genetics.
For patients who have wondered what obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) actually is, it is identified by an interruption of breathing during sleep. With this condition, these apneic events last ten or more seconds and occur repeatedly throughout the night. OSA can have many troublesome side effects, some that even fall into the category of dangerous. It may affect other areas of a person’s health due to being deprived of much-needed oxygen because of this condition. Physical ailments that become more of a risk in someone with sleep apnea include high blood pressure, heart disease, daytime drowsiness, and inability to concentrate and remember things.
People with sleep apnea may not be aware that they have it. The interruptions in breathing are usually just enough to stir a person from a deep sleep to cause them to start breathing again, but not enough to wake them entirely. While they feel as though they are sleeping well, they are not experiencing sound or restorative sleep. A person may not be aware that they have obstructive sleep apnea, but there are warning signs that should lead to investigation with a trained medical professional. These signs to take note of include:
- Daytime drowsiness
- A partner who describes snoring as extremely loud
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Irritability or mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
- Dry mouth and throat when waking up
If you experience these symptoms regularly, we suggest you contact the dental office of Dr. Clint Bruyere in Longview, TX. He and his staff will help you find medical help to determine a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. Once it is established that this is indeed the issue, he has the training and means available to help relieve the condition and restore quiet and restful nights. Patients need not avoid consultation for fear of treatment with a cumbersome and noisy CPAP machine. Technology today provides effective and comfortable treatment alternatives with oral devices for many OSA sufferers. Contact our office today to find out how we can help you.