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Effects of Sleep Apnea

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How Can Sleep Apnea Affect Your Life?

Sleep occupies one-third of a person’s life, making a good night’s sleep important to an individual’s overall health. Sleep apnea prevents quality sleep, resulting in health complications such as increased fatigue and difficulty focusing. Understanding the different types of sleep apnea, as well as the methods for treating them, helps patients to overcome their sleep disorder and finally get a good night’s rest. 

Types of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes patients to repeatedly start and stop breathing while sleeping. The different types of the condition are obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome, otherwise known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, as explained below:

Obstructive sleep apnea is categorized as sleep disruption caused by a blockage in the airway during sleep due to relaxation of throat muscles. This blockage prevents oxygen from reaching the brain, suddenly waking the individual in order to adjust to the problem, in turn causing disruptions in the sleep cycle. 

Central sleep apnea refers to a miscommunication between the brain and the muscles that control breathing. Where obstructive sleep apnea is concerned with the mechanics of breathing, central sleep apnea is affected by the central nervous system’s ability to send information. This type of sleep apnea is usually caused by medical conditions pertaining to the brain stem. 

Complex sleep apnea syndrome, otherwise known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, occurs when patients experience both cases of obstructive and central sleep apnea. 

How does sleep apnea affect patients?

Patients suffering from sleep apnea experience loud or chronic snoring, choking or snorting, gasping for air, and pauses when breathing. Moreover, sleep apnea may induce increased fatigue, difficulty focusing, headaches, and excessive changes in mood. Additional warning signs can include waking up with a dry or sore mouth, insomnia, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and morning headaches. Sleep apnea prevents a full-night’s rest, resulting in many additional health complications, such as increase weight gain and potential heart complications.

Due to the varying nature of sleep disordered breathing conditions, it may be difficult to self-diagnose the symptoms associated with the sleep disorder. A patient suffering from sleep apnea usually finds out from a loved one or an individual who’s witnessed the patient sleeping. 

What can you do to combat sleep apnea?

While there are lifestyle changes patients can adopt to combat sleep apnea, such as quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol, our office provides additional assistance through sleep apnea oral appliances to help you sleep better. 

To find out more about sleep apnea treatment, and to receive your sleep application to help you sleep better, call our Santa Rosa dental office today!

 

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