Sleep apnea is a condition that causes frequent and recurring shortness of breath while sleeping and in severe cases can cause you to stop breathing. A common cause is the soft tissue in your throat relaxes and you fall into deeper sleep which blocks the airway and prevents normal breathing. This is referred to as obstructive sleep apnea.
Having trouble sleeping? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Cho today to discuss your options.
Some signs include: difficulty waking up, excessive daytime sleepiness, frequent sore throat, recurring headaches, clenching and grinding, waking up to use the restroom, and a general inability to get a restful night’s sleep.
We offer custom fitted oral appliances to treat sleep apnea. The process is simple and everything from testing to treatment can be done at Life Bloom Dental. If you are diagnosed, you can wear an oral appliance, commonly called a snore guard, which will reposition your jaw to ensure the airway is kept open during the night. The appliance is removable, comfortable and should cause no problems for you or any sleeping partner. We may also recommend lifestyle changes such as weight loss, less alcohol, and eliminating sleep medication.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is when a person’s airway is partially or completely blocked while sleeping. This usually occurs when the soft tissues in the throat relax as one falls asleep and closes the throat. This is called obstructive sleep apnea, which is the most common type.
This condition is usually associated with loud snoring, but just because someone sores doesn’t mean they have it. Being overweight, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, and genetics are the primary causes. Someone with a family history of the disorder is more likely to suffer from the condition. Additionally, it also affects men more than women.
Can Sleep Apnea Kill You?
While it cannot directly kill you, sleep apnea interrupts the normal sleep cycles and does not allow for restful sleep. This leads to serious side effects that kills thousands of people each year, including the late actress Carrie Fisher. It is estimated at least 22 million Americans suffer from the disorder, with up to 80% having a moderate or severe case that is not diagnosed. It can cause:
- Increased risk of heat disease
- Increased risk of strokes
- Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance
- Heart attacks
What are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?
The most common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are listed below. You can also ask Dr. Cho, who also suffers from it, about the symptoms he experienced prior to treatment. However, even if you have a few of these symptoms, it does not mean you have the disease. Make an appointment for a consultation to be certain.
- Restless sleep
- Extreme daytime sleepiness
- Sleepiness and low energy when awake
- Inability to concentrate
- Insomnia and frequently waking up at night
- Waking up with a dry or sore throat
- Gasping or choking sensations that wake you up at night
- Sudden mood swings
- Limb twitching when falling asleep
- Going to the bathroom at night