If you’ve been told you snore loudly at night, there’s a chance you’re suffering from sleep apnea. This can deprive you of more than just a good night’s sleep, though. As you read on, discover how, untreated, the condition can leave you more vulnerable to heart health problems. Also, learn how sleep apnea treatment can restore your health.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea refers to frequently-occurring cessations of breathing while you sleep that last at least 10 seconds. The most common form of the condition is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is a partial blockage of the airway that can be caused by one or a combination of the following:
- Increased neck girth
- The tongue falling to the back of the mouth while sleeping and partially restricting airflow
- The muscles in the throat relaxing and making it harder for air to pass, which causes the familiar loud snoring
The Usual Symptoms
To recover from sleep apnea, the first step is to recognize the symptoms. Some of the primary traits to be on the lookout for are lost libido, impotence, bed-wetting, daytime lethargy, mood swings and increased irritability.
If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s important to take action by reaching out to your local sleep dentist. That’s because when your oxygen flow is inhibited, it can have adverse effects on your heart.
Heart Health Issues Associated with Sleep Apnea
By your heart being denied the steady supply of oxygen it needs, there is a greater risk of developing heart disease, and it also leaves you vulnerable to suffering cardiac arrest. Because both of these conditions can be life-threatening, the importance of receiving treatment for sleep apnea is even greater.
How Sleep Apnea Can be Treated
The CPAP machine, a device that consists of a mask, tube and a base unit, is considered to be the “gold standard” for sleep apnea therapy. However, many patients find it to be an uncomfortable form of treatment.
An alternative is an oral appliance, which is custom-designed by your dentist to fit your mouth perfectly to provide a comfortable yet effective form of treatment. The device aids in maintaining proper airflow by slightly moving your jaw forward while you sleep.
Taking the Next Step to Receive Care
To prevent any heart health issues associated with sleep apnea and to get the rest your body and mind need to function at their optimum levels, reach out to your local dentist to undergo a sleep study today.
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Nawrocki is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Dentistry. Throughout his career, he has taken the necessary steps to ensure he can provide the best care possible. This includes maintaining professional membership with the Florida Dental Association and taking continuing education courses annually. Dr. Nawrocki helps his patients rest better and protect their heart health by providing sleep apnea therapy at his private practice. He can be reached for more information through his website.