If you have struggled with your sleep, there is no doubt someone has suggested you might have sleep apnea. But what exactly is it? Sleep apnea is more than just loud snoring or waking up in the middle of the night. In general terms, it is the inability to get enough air while you sleep. Come see our team at Singing River Dentistry. Our professionals can diagnose, help reduce the risk factors, and treat sleep apnea.
What are the different types of Sleep Apnea?
Three different types of sleep apnea are commonly recognized. The first type, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, is the most common of the three. This type occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax after you fall sleep and narrows or even closes your airways. This makes it difficult, if not impossible for air to come in and out. When you can't get enough air through these airways, the oxygen level in your blood decreases. Your brain, then realizes it isn't getting the proper amount of air and arouses you out of sleep to open up your airways. Usually, this arousal out of sleep is so brief that you won't even remember it.
Another type is Central Sleep Apnea. This type happens when your brain doesn't send the proper signals to your muscles that control your breathing. Your body makes absolutely no attempt to breathe for some time and then wakes your body up by gasping for air. It could also cause you to have a difficult time getting to sleep or staying asleep.
The last type is Complex sleep apnea, which is a combination of both Obstructive and Central sleep apnea. The reason for you not getting enough air while you breathe will vary each night, which can be frustrating to pin down why you can't get enough sleep.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring and feeling exhausted even after a full night's sleep. However, there are a few other symptoms like insomnia, morning headaches, dry mouth in the morning when you wake up, and gasping for air in your sleep. Not one of these symptoms alone is an indicator you might have sleep apnea. But, any of these symptoms are extremely important to monitor and tell our dentists when you come in for your oral exams.
What are the risks and complications from sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can lead to some severe complications if not treated. Beyond having constant daytime fatigue and experiencing a lower quality of life, it can also lead to high blood pressure, heart problems, Type 2 Diabetes, liver problems, and stroke, to name a few.
Thankfully, there are treatments available for all three types of sleep apnea. If you are struggling with falling or staying asleep and believe you might have symptoms of sleep apnea, we are here to help. Call our professionals at Singing River Dentistry today at (256) 562-4001. We are here to give you more information and details on the different treatments available for sleep apnea.
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