A good night's sleep is vital in allowing the body to relax and rejuvenate for the following day. It is said that adults ideally have to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day. However, some of us may not get such quality sleep due to some health conditions, such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is known to significantly affect your body and mind's functionality and health, which is why it is best to get it treated at the earliest.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by blockage in the airway when the patient is sleeping. It usually occurs due to the collapse of the tissues from the roof of the throat onto the airway, thereby blocking it entirely or partially. Due to this, the patient wakes up in the middle of their sleep, often feeling startled.
In some instances, the brain slightly malfunctions and doesn't signal the lungs to inhale air on time. Due to this, the patient may experience a lack of oxygen during sleep, making them wake up. The bedmate of the patient would often notice this condition, which could become crucial in getting the condition diagnosed.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
- Frequent pauses in breathing
- Lack of sleep at night
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Reduced levels of tolerance
- Snoring and sore throat
- Frequent headaches and pain near the shoulder and neck area
- Loss of appetite
How is sleep apnea treated?
The dentist will thoroughly diagnose your health condition and discuss it with you. A few questions may be asked about your health and sleep, which better understand your sleep disorder. A sleep test may be scheduled, during which the dentist will observe your body and eye movements when you are asleep. Based on the observations, we will suggest suitable treatment.
Preventing the collapse of the tissues from the roof of the throat is the simplest way to treat it. We do this using an oral appliance called the Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD), which has to be worn before going to bed. The appliance brings the lower jaw forward and expands the opening to the airway. It also keeps the roof of the throat from collapsing, thus allowing easy breathing throughout your sleep.
Another intelligent device used in the treatment of sleep apnea is the CPAP or the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device. It consists of a pressurized cylinder of oxygen and a comfortably fitting mask, which has to be worn on the mouth and nose. The device maintains a positive airway pressure in the throat, thus keeping the tissues from collapsing. Along with these treatment methods, you may have to make a few changes to your lifestyle by limiting the consumption of foods with high cholesterol, practicing better sleeping positions, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking and consuming alcohol, etc.
To have a consultation with our team of dentists, please call our office at (951) 676-4556 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.