All You Should Know About Sleep Apnea

All You Should Know About Sleep Apnea

Jun 01, 2021

Sleep is the natural recurring phenomenon of the mind and body, characterized by consciousness or a state of inhibited sensory activity. Sleep is essential to restore the energy of the body. With regular activities, the body muscles and the mind get fatigued. Sleep restores the body’s energy and reduces interaction with the surrounding momentarily, thus calming the mind.

Overview of Sleep Apnea

Breathing is closely associated with sleep. Breathing is the involuntary function of the body during which air is inhaled in the lungs through the nostrils, and the deoxygenated air is breathed out. Breathing is closely associated with respiration, and breathing continues even while sleeping.

Sleep apnea is a severe breathing disorder in which a person’s normal breathing is disrupted while sleeping. You tend to stop repeatedly breathing while sleeping if you suffer from sleep apnea. Once breathing is stopped, the brain and rest of the body cease to receive oxygen causing serious complications.

Sleep apnea is of different types, but the most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea which is caused due to obstruction in the airway while sleeping. The soft tissues in the throat muscle collapse during sleep, obstructing breathing. A noticeable sign of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring.

Central sleep apnea is the other type o sleep apnea but is less common. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, the air passage is not blocked in central sleep apnea, but the brain fails to communicate the muscles to breathe. This is caused due to inability of the respiratory control center to breathe.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea are common with other diseases, and visiting a dental clinic can help in proper diagnosis. Common sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Loud snoring.
  • Period of stopped breathing during sleep.
  • Excessive sleepiness during daytime.
  • Morning headaches.
  • Abrupt awakening during sleep accompanied by choking and grasping.
  • Loss in concentrating during the day.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Sweating during the night.
  • Decreased libido.
  • Rapid change of moods
  • Depression or irritability.
  • Awakening with dry mouth and sore throat.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

The primary cause of sleep apnea is an obstruction in the respiratory tract, causing an inability to breathe. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the soft muscles located at the back of the throat relax too much while facilitating normal breathing. The throat muscles support the tonsils, the palate, and the uvula.

As you breathe in, the muscles relax, narrowing the airways that last for about 10 seconds or more. This phenomenon lowers the oxygen level in the blood and builds up carbon dioxide. The brain impulsively senses impaired breathing, and sleep is discontinued to rouse you to reopen the airway.

Awakening with shortness of breath is corrected instantly with a couple of long breaths accompanied by snorting, gasping, or choking sounds. If untreated, this pattern might repeat itself 5 to 30 times an hour and leave you with disturbed sleep. In mild cases of sleep apnea, the person might not be aware of obstructive breathing and believe that they have slept well.

Risk Factors

Sleep apnea is a common phenomenon and can be treated. Some factors can put you in a higher risk group of sleep apnea. Most people who are obese run a higher risk of suffering from sleep apnea. Deposition of fat around the air tract can cause obstructed breathing.

Inherited narrow airways or enlarged tonsils also obstruct the airway and prevent normal breathing. People with chronic nasal congestion are twice more prone of being suffering from sleep apnea. People who smoke or suffering from diabetes and hypertension are relatively more inclined to get obstructive sleep apnea. A family with a history of sleep apnea and those who have asthma also have a high risk of sleep apnea. Men are twice more prone than menopausal women in suffering from sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea procedure involves removing and repositioning the throat’s excess soft tissues that obstruct the breathing tract. Warm Family Dentistry in Salt Lake ensures that you do not need to worry about sleep apnea. Warm family Dentistry is a one-stop solution for cosmetic and general dentistry. We provide a wide range of dental services, including treatment for sleep apnea. You may book an appointment and avail of our discount plans.

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