Sleep apnea interferes with your sleep, making you feel exhausted throughout the day and usually causing brain fog. While those issues are a big concern, it can get worse: untreated sleep apnea can result in serious health issues like heart arrhythmias and high blood pressure. Chase Dental Sleepcare has board-certified sleep medicine physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea in Melville. The doctors can help in performing a thorough examination and determine how severe your sleep apnea is before proceeding with the best treatment plan for you.
What is sleep, apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the breathing of an individual discontinues while sleeping. This termination of breathing usually lasts for a few seconds to minutes, followed by a loud breath when you start breathing normally again. That can happen more than 30 times in an hour. The breathing cessation disrupts your regular sleeping pattern, which leads to poor quality of sleep and a lower amount of oxygen in the brain. A person with sleep apnea feels fatigued and tired during the day.
The major cause of sleep apnea is the relaxation of the soft tissues in your mouth, such as the tongue. When you sleep, the tongue falls towards the back of your throat, causing partial or complete blockage of airflow, which stops your breathing.
Symptoms of sleep apnea
The major symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Making frequent trips to the washroom at night
- Waking up with a sore throat or a dry mouth
- Difficulty concentrating
- Morning headaches
- Daytime fatigue and tiredness
- Loud snoring
Loud snoring is the primary symptom. Your roommate might notice the repeating cycle: loud snoring, followed by silence when your breathing discontinues, then a gasp when you continue breathing.
What complications doe sleep apnea cause?
Sleep apnea inhibits you from getting the amount of oxygen you require and reduces your quality of sleep. Due to that, it can result in serious personal and health problems.
Lack of enough sleep affects your cognitive and mental ability. You might feel irritable or depressed, which can significantly affect your relationship with others. Poor quality of sleep also results in poor concentration, which reduces your job performance.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to the development of life-threatening medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. If you have a chronic health condition, it can worsen due to sleep apnea.
Diagnosing sleep apnea
Sleep apnea can only be diagnosed using sleep studies. For your sleep study, our physicians give you a piece of equipment to diagnose the issue and show you how to utilize it. The equipment measures your airflow, breathing, and oxygen levels. The information is recorded on a small screen for the doctor to evaluate and determine if you have sleep apnea and the severity of your condition.
Treating sleep apnea
If you are overweight and your sleep apnea is mild, weight loss might be all you need to stop the apnea. For moderate and severe apnea, the doctor can recommend an oral appliance or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
When using CPAP, you wear a mask that provides sufficient air to maintain your airway open. However, CPAP is preferred for patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Patients with moderate and mild apnea might use an oral appliance. The appliance holds your tongue and jaw in a forward position so that the tongue does not block your airway.
If you feel tired during the day or you are a loud snorer, schedule an appointment online, or call Chase Dental Sleepcare for treatment.