Did you know that more than 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea? This common sleep disorder can make breathing difficult throughout the night and even cause your breath to pause for at least ten seconds at a time! As a result, you might not be getting the restful sleep you need, which impacts every facet of your day-to-day life and can have major effects on your health. If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, it is important to educate yourself on the health risks associated with this common sleep disorder and to seek treatment as soon as possible. To get you started, here are just four things all patients with sleep apnea should know.
1. If you have sleep apnea, you could be experiencing any of the following symptoms.
Sleep apnea can impact many aspects of your health and your daily life. For starters, those with sleep apnea are often chronic snorers and find themselves gasping for air throughout the night. Due to the lack of restful sleep, patients can also be quite sleepy throughout the day. If you have sleep apnea, you may experience difficulty concentrating, irritability, depression, and difficulties with your memory. You may also have nighttime sweating, decreased libido, morning headaches, and insomnia. If you experience any of these symptoms, it certainly cannot hurt to discuss them with a doctor.
2. There are a few reasons why you may be at greater risk for sleep apnea.
If you’re still not certain as to whether or not you’re dealing with sleep apnea, it may be helpful to determine if you’re at higher risk for the issue. For example, if you are overweight, have a small jaw or overbite, or use tobacco or drink alcohol, you may be at greater risk for this sleep disorder. Your risk for this sleep disorder also increases as you age, and is therefore more common in middle age. Men are more likely to experience sleep apnea as well, though women can be at greater risk with menopause. Also, if you have a family history of sleep apnea, you definitely could be at risk. While these risk factors can increase your chances of sleep apnea, anyone can experience this sleep disorder. Therefore, it is most important that you see your doctor if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms.
3. It is important that you seek medical assistance if you have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea not only impacts your sleep, but it can also affect your overall health in the process. In fact, the impact sleep apnea can have on your health can be very serious if left untreated, as sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, heart attacks, and even stroke. Therefore, if you often find yourself gasping for breath in the night or if you’re told you’re a chronic snorer, be sure to pay a visit to your doctor.
4. If you have sleep apnea, your dentist can help!
You may be surprised to learn that you don’t need a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea—your dentist can actually treat this condition using a dental appliance! In fact, at Sunrise Dental Care, we offer four different appliances for sleep apnea that treat mild to moderate conditions. By speaking with us about your sleep apnea, we can determine which device will be best for your individual circumstances.
If you believe you might be suffering from sleep apnea, we’re happy to help. Call Sunrise Dental Care in Geneva today to schedule your visit