If you’re one of the millions of Americans suffering from sleep apnea, your dentist in Ames, IA can help you achieve a full, restful night’s sleep once again. What are the symptoms of sleep apnea? How is sleep apnea treated? And how can you prevent sleep apnea in the first place? Let’s take a look at these and other important questions to help you enjoy better sleep and a happier life.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when the tongue and lower jaw partially or completely block the proper flow of air during sleep. The condition is caused by a number of factors, including:
- Large neck circumference
- Oversized sinus
- Excessive alcohol consumption, especially combined with tobacco before bedtime
- Certain medications, like antidepressants or sleep aids
Because large neck circumference significantly reduces the free flow of air through the throat, sleep apnea is most common in overweight or obese adults, but is now being frequently diagnosed in children as well.
What Are The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea sufferers should seek a solution as soon as they recognize a problem with their sleep cycle. Many times, the condition is recognized by a partner who notices interrupted sleep or snoring. Left untreated, sleep apnea has been linked to serious heart conditions and even premature death. Recognize the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and help yourself find a solution sooner rather than later.
Signs you are suffering from sleep apnea include:
- Chronic snoring
- Frequent waking throughout the night
- Dry mouth or throat upon waking
- Confusion or irritability during the day
- Behavior and learning issues in children
The symptoms of sleep apnea are often confused with those of other conditions that affect sleep, like depression or anxiety. If you experience these side effects combined with chronic, loud snoring, chances are you are dealing with sleep apnea.
Solutions For Sleep Apnea
If you receive a diagnosis for sleep apnea in Ames, IA, Dr. Clary is equipped to help you achieve a full night’s sleep once again with sleep apnea therapy. Your treatment may include a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP), a removable oral appliance, or, for more serious cases, a combination of both.
Certain lifestyle changes can also ease your sleep apnea symptoms. Patients who are overweight or obese should combine treatment for sleep apnea with a weight loss program. Many adults find their eating habits are easier to control when they benefit from a full night’s sleep every night. Managing stress, reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption, and exercising can also help to ease the symptoms of sleep apnea.
If you suspect you or a loved one are dealing with the condition known as obstructive sleep apnea, don’t wait to seek further advice or professional treatment. You deserve eight hours of refreshing sleep, every single night. Help yourself achieve it! Contact our office today.