A Guide to Sleep Apnea and Its Impact on Your Health
Sleep apnea is a severe sleep-related disorder that isn’t too far away from the harsh sounds of snoring. Snoring is distracting, especially to bed partners or someone else nearby, but the condition is not rare. Nearly 50 percent of all people snore at some point in their lives, and there are many different reasons for snoring.
Snoring appears when the flow of air you breathe in from your nose or mouth provokes the tissues at the back of the throat to shudder. You may begin snoring for harmless reasons like having a cold or allergies. In many cases, the snoring will not likely disrupt your sleeping routine. However, it may leave you with a dry mouth or sore throat. However, snoring may also indicate you have obstructive sleep apnea, a severe sleep disorder causing you to temporarily stop breathing when sleeping and putting your health at risk.
Merely snoring does not indicate you have sleep apnea. However, it is essential to recognize the difference between snoring that concerns you and snoring that can impact your health. Here is how to realize if your snoring results from sleep apnea.
Primary Snoring against Sleep Apnea: What’s the Difference?
If your bed partner awakens you or you wake up yourself, you realize snoring is frustrating. However, as there are different types of snoring, you must determine what’s causing the problem before seeking sleep apnea treatment near me.
The reasons for primary snoring are various and are caused by issues like aging causing your throat muscles to relax, sleeping on your back, using alcohol or muscle relaxants close to bedtime, being overweight, or having nose and throat conditions.
The causes of primary snoring are not beyond your control because you can try avoiding alcohol or sleeping on your sides to avoid the disruption.
In many cases, the snoring may indicate sleep apnea and require you to see a sleep medicine specialist for help to stop snoring or lower your risk of specific health issues.
When Is Your Snoring Sleep Apnea?
Your snoring can indicate sleep apnea if you are affected by medical conditions causing you to have blockages to your airway when sleeping. The reasons for obstructive sleep apnea include obesity, large tonsils, endocrine disorders like hypothyroidism, heart or kidney failure, genetic conditions and premature birth. Snoring from sleep apnea tends to have different characteristics compared to primary snoring. The consequences are also severe. You may have obstructive sleep apnea if you snore extremely loudly, pause while breathing for over 10 seconds, gasp or choke, take shallow breaths and are restless.
If you feel exhausted during the day, even after getting a good night’s rest, it is a sign of sleep apnea. Your partner may awaken you when they notice these signs. Therefore do not hesitate to discuss the problem with them.
How Sleep Apnea Impacts Your Health?
The issues with sleep apnea go beyond disrupting your sleep and the sleep of people around you. Therefore it is crucial to recognize the potential impact of snoring, especially if you have sleep apnea.
The pauses in your breathing cause you to move from deep to light sleep or wake up, decreasing the quality of sleep you get. The disrupted sleep pattern causes your body to release stress hormones to impact the way your body utilizes energy. These factors can make you sleepy and groggy throughout the day.
Poor sleep quality can lead to weight gain, aging, depression, learning challenges, and memory loss. The cycle is harmful because when sleep apnea puts you at risk of weight gain, it increases your risk of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea also decreases oxygen levels because of your breathing pauses. The lack of oxygen results in plaque buildup in your blood vessels resulting in a condition called atherosclerosis. The buildup increases your risk of heart attacks, strokes, type II diabetes and damage to your pancreas.
How do Sleep Medicine Specialists help with Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea, although frustrating, is treatable by making straightforward lifestyle changes or using breathing devices while sleeping. If you think you are affected by sleep apnea, you must maintain a record of your sleep and other symptoms and schedule an appointment with a sleep medicine specialist to evaluate your condition. The specialist may recommend an overnight stay at a sleep center to undergo the polysomnography test. At-home sleep apnea testing is also available, depending on your symptoms. However, the polysomnography test is the gold standard because it can determine the severity of your condition while diagnosing it.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
The Dentist Ballard Seattle 98107 provides mouthpieces to temporarily reposition your jaw and tongue to allow air passage through when sleeping. Alternatively, you can also have the uncomfortable CPAP device involving wearing a mask over your nose when sleeping to deliver continuous air when sleeping.
CPAP devices are not tolerated by many people who prefer the mouthpieces offered by Ballard family dental to continue living a healthy lifestyle even though they have sleep apnea. Regular monitoring is essential by the dentist to ensure the device is functioning adequately and allowing your body to revitalize and remain healthy.
If you think you are affected by sleep apnea and have a record of your symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact Ballard Dentistry for the sleep apnea device to improve your quality of sleep and your health.