What Is Sleep Apnea?
Dr. Greg McElroy explains that sleep apnea is the second most common sleep disorder, right after insomnia. Most people who have this suffer from obstructive sleep apnea – when you sleep, your tongue and lower jaw relax, sliding against the back of your throat and preventing you from breathing correctly.
Since your body is wise enough to know you’re not getting the oxygen you need, you’ll wake up, but often not remember it. Your brain will make you only conscious enough to start breathing properly and these “micro-arousals” can happen hundreds of times a night – leaving you exhausted, but without knowing why
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea has many common symptoms:
- Gaps or elongated pauses in breathing when you sleep – usually noticed by your partner.
- Waking up gasping for air or with an asthma attack.
- Waking up to urinate.
- Morning headaches.
- Exhaustion, even after sleeping 8 or more hours.
- Sleepiness while driving.
- Craving carbs and sweets for energy.
- Depression, irritability, forgetfulness, and trouble concentrating.
- Decreased interest in sex.
If I Don’t Snore, Is My Sleep Apnea Still Dangerous?
Yes. Sleep apnea may seem like it can be taken lightly, especially if you don’t snore, but untreated sleep apnea can have serious ramifications to your health. This condition can cause many health issues, including:
- High Blood Pressure
- Cardiac Arrest
- Heart failure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart attack
- Sudden Death
- Car Accidents
How Can I Find Out If I Have Sleep Apnea?
If you think you might be affected by sleep apnea, talk with our team or your doctor today – don’t wait. Review these risk factors or take this sleep apnea quiz. After a sleep study, you’ll get the answers you need to address your sleep problem.
Are There Dental Treatments For Sleep Apnea?
If you’re diagnosed with this sleep disorder, you’ll most likely be prescribed a CPAP machine. Since the tubing can be cumbersome, and the air that’s forced into your airways all night long can be uncomfortable, many people stop using their CPAP machines – and no treatment is effective if patients don’t use it.
Rather than putting your health at risk by leaving this condition untreated, Dr. McElroy can fit you for a 100% customized oral appliance that will shift your lower jaw and tongue out of the way while you sleep. This device is similar to a nightguard, exceedingly comfortable, and much more economical than a CPAP machine. And, it’s effective – custom oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea works well for about 80% of patients.
Now that you know that sleep apnea doesn’t always equal snoring, schedule your appointment with McElroy Smiles By Design and sleep like a baby again!
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