Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that affects billions of people all over the world, and shockingly, some are not even aware.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Also referred to as OSA, obstructive sleep apnea causes a person to stop breathing while asleep. This can occur up to 30 times an hour and happens when the throat muscles relax blocking your airways while you sleep. According to Dr. Ben Wang for Centerport Dental in Downtown Portland, snoring is a common sign of OSA, however, not everyone who snores, suffers from the disorder.
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
When the muscles in the back of your throat relax, your airway closes and narrows, affecting airflow. Dr. Ben explains that if breath is inadequate for 20 seconds, your oxygen levels could cause carbon dioxide buildup in your blood. Because your brain knows about your impaired breathing, it will briefly wake you up so that you can breathe again. It happens so briefly that most obstructive sleep apnea suffers don’t remember the episode.
- Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Loud Snoring
- Daytime Sleepiness
- Breathing Cessation While Sleeping
- Concentration Difficulties
- Morning Headaches
- Dry Mouth
- Sore Throat
- Mood Changes
- Night Sweats
- Low Libido
- High Blood Pressure
- Memory Problems
- Consult a Medical Professional If You:
- Snore loudly enough to wake others
- Waking up choking or gasping
- Pauses in breathing while sleeping
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, which could cause you to fall asleep at the wheel
Who is at Risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Although anyone can succumb to OSA, there are certain risk factors that include:
- Being overweight although thin people are affected as well
- Narrowed airways which can be inherited
- Large tonsils
- Large adenoids
- High blood pressure
- Nasal congestion
- Family history
- Being male
Considered a serious condition, some complications of obstructive sleep apnea could include:
- Daytime fatigue
- Problems with school
- Behavioral problems in kids and teens
- Cardiovascular issues
- High blood pressure
- Heart Attack
What Can Be Done about Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Although some doctors may recommend surgery or a CPAP machine, there are other ways to help you sleep better at night. My dental practice in Downtown Portland can create a custom-made removable mouth appliance that will keep your airways open, and best of all, it is much more comfortable than a CPAP machine.
If you suffer from OSA, or think you do, schedule an appointment with my Downtown Portland dental practice. A custom-made removable mouth appliance could be all you need for obstructive sleep apnea.