Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that occurs from weakened throat muscles that collapse on themselves when one is sleeping. This can cause a temporary pause in breathing. This respiration cessation leaves the sufferer feeling unrested come morning as they will repeatedly waken throughout the night. Obstructive sleep apnea also causes snoring, which when combined with the frequent waking likely means your partner won't be getting a good night's sleep, either. Here is what you need to know about this life-affecting condition.
What Are The Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
If you live alone, you don't have a partner to alert you to your breathing and sleeping problems like someone with a sleeping companion does. Check to see if any of these symptoms sound familiar:
- Sleepiness during the day, no matter how many hours you are sleeping at night
- A sore throat or dry mouth when morning comes
- Difficulty getting up to your alarm in the morning
- Depression without a known cause, irritability, difficulty concentrating and remembering things
- Sudden waking accompanied by gasping for air or a choking sensation
- Sexual difficulties
- Night sweats
- Frequently startled awake and not knowing why
- Teeth grinding
Who Is Likely To Be Affected By Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
While anyone can have this condition, it is more common in patients who are overweight or obese, those with very thick necks, and people with abnormally small throat, mouth, and nose airway passages. Chronic sinus issue sufferers may also be more likely to present with obstructive sleep apnea.
In addition to too much tissue in the throat, people who have large tonsils but never had them removed as a child as well as a large uvula, the piece of skin that hangs from the back of the throat, can also cause obstructive sleep apnea. A deviated septum can also lead to the condition. Smoking and excess alcohol, which overly relaxes the body, as well as high blood pressure and diabetes are additional risk factors.
How Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
For an official diagnosis, an overnight stay in a sleep studies facility is required. Oftentimes, your family dentist rather than your primary care physician may be the first to suggest you have obstructive sleep apnea. As he is looking in your mouth and down your throat, he may notice you have excess tissue or that you wake if you have been given a mild sedative before a procedure.
What Is The Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
In addition to weight loss, cutting back on alcohol, and quitting smoking, many people are prescribed a CPAP machine. This is a device worn over your nose and mouth that provides a constant air supply.
Check out sites like http://silverstonefamilydental.com for more information.