A common disorder, sleep apnea can refer to a few different issues. The first occurs when individuals experience pauses in their breathing while sleeping. The second refers to taking very shallow breaths while sleeping. Both issues can cause considerable frustration and be cause for concern, particularly if the pauses between breaths are lengthy or especially frequent. It’s not a particularly easy condition to self-diagnose, however, because it’s something that only acts up when you’re sleeping. Because of this, it’s possible that your family members might recognize an issue before you do. The most common warning sign that you might be experiencing sleep apnea comes is snoring.
Why is sleep apnea a big deal?
Sleep apnea, on the surface, might not seem like an overly harmful disorder. After all, if it only effects you while you sleep then it’s clearly not having too much of an impact on your daily life. In reality, the effects of sleep apnea have the potential to impact your day to day life a great deal. Sleep is often cited as being the most important part of the day, for example, and if you’re not getting enough of it, your performance in general begins to decrease.
Because sleep apnea can lead to pauses in your breathing, it can pull you out of deep sleep every time your breathing stops and then begins again. Keep in mind that these pauses can occur anywhere from 30 to 300 times a night, and you might begin to see why sleep apnea is such a big deal! From a purely performance-based perspective, sleep apnea has the potential to severely limit your deep sleep which can, in turn, lead to a feeling of fatigue and decreased performance during the day.
In addition, sleep apnea – if left untreated – could lead to increased risk of the following:
• Heart Attack
• Heart Disease
Sleep Apnea and Relationships
In addition to the aforementioned risks, sleep apnea can take a significant toll upon your relationships with other people. Sharing a bedroom, for example, might become an unbearable ordeal for light sleepers bedding with heavy snoring resulting from sleep apnea. Not does the snoring interrupt the sufferer’s sleep, it also interrupts that of their roommate! As odd as it may sound at first, sleep apnea can put quite the strain upon relationships, and might even drive a wedge between the afflicted individual and everyone around them.
How can I treat sleep apnea?
The good news is that, in certain cases, sleep apnea can be treated with a simple dental appliance. These devices can be used to help keep the soft palate, uvula, and tongue from obstructing the patient’s airway. This helps decrease snoring as well as the pauses in breathing while the patient sleeps.
Are you struggling with sleep apnea? If so, we can help! Please don’t hesitate to contact us today to discuss your options when it comes to treating your sleep apnea and reclaiming your sleep!