September 10, 2017
You already wake up feeling exhausted every morning, despite a “full night of rest.” Then your partner complains about how they could hardly sleep because of your abnormal snoring. What could be causing you and your partner’s sleeping habits to suffer?
Believe it or not, it could be from obstructive sleep apnea. If this is the first time you’re hearing of this, you may have a few questions. Let’s take a deeper look at sleep apnea in Richardson to get a better understanding of the disorder and how to treat it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Apnea
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have pauses in breathing or very shallow breaths while you sleep. These pauses can last from just a few seconds all the way to minutes, which could lead to many more health complications. Your interruptions in breathing may repeat themselves dozens—even hundreds—of times at night, typically starting again with a loud snort or choking sound.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
As stated above, one of the main symptoms of sleep apnea is a snoring or choking sound. The other symptoms could include:
- Morning headaches
- A sore throat and/or dry mouth
- Constant fatigue or exhaustion
- Difficulty focusing or remembering important things
- Mood swings
- Sexual dysfunction
- Restlessness or gasping for air
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
The best way to know for sure if you have sleep apnea is to visit your dentist for assistance. It can be difficult to notice the symptoms if you sleep alone and bed partners aren’t necessarily qualified to diagnose it. However, a dentist understands the inner and outer workings of your mouth, head, and neck—making them a perfect resource for sleep apnea discovery.
How can dentists help treat sleep apnea?
Most cases of sleep apnea are caused by an obstruction of the airway. When your airway is blocked, it’s difficult for your body to get the appropriate amounts of oxygen as explained above. That’s why many dentists offer a mouthguard or a “snoreguard.” Patients suffering from sleep apnea tend to sleep better because their airways are kept open from the appliance throughout the night.
Why do I need to seek treatment immediately?
Because sleep apnea decreases the quality of your sleep, there are many negative effects that follow this—one of the biggest being sleep deprivation. Since sleep apnea interrupts the important REM stage of your sleep, patients can suffer from sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can have several consequences including memory problems, trouble concentrating and mood disturbances. It can even increase your chances of being in an accident while driving.
You can enjoy full sleep cycles again as soon as you reach out for assistance from a professional. This should improve your overall quality of life, mood, relationships, and general health. It all starts with a single phone call to your dentist!
About Our Office
Dr. Melody Stampe has been a member of the Dallas community for as long as she can remember. She feels the most rewarding part of dentistry is improving and changing the lives of patients that step into her office—including those with sleep apnea. Dr. Stampe is very familiar with sleep apnea and how to successfully treat it. If you have any questions about your fatigue, feel free to call our local Richardson office.
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