Sleep is the body’s rest cycle. It is a condition in which an individual’s awareness of environmental stimuli is at its lowest. Sleep is essential for survival, and it plays a crucial role in carrying out some activities such as learning, metabolism, immune function, memory, and other vital functions of the body.
Did you know that an average human needs about seven to eight hours of sleep every day to be healthy? Are you doing that daily? It would help if you started today. However, some people find it hard to get straight hours of uninterrupted sleep due to a disorder known as sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that involves the repeated starting and stopping of an individual’s breathing while sleeping. You might have sleep apnea if you often feel tired after a night’s sleep and snore loudly. Untreated sleep apnea leads to loud snoring, daytime tiredness even after a whole night’s sleep, and even severe health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure stroke, heart attack, etc.
This type of sleep apnea is characterized by repeated complete or partial blockage of your upper airway while you are asleep. It is the most common type of sleep apnea, and it occurs because the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses. When this happens, the diaphragm and chest muscles work harder than usual to open the airways. That may cause you to resume breathing with loud gasps and body jerks. Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea include drinking alcohol, smoking, old age, obesity, nasal congestion, family history, etc.
This type of sleep apnea has to do with the functions of the nervous system. It occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. It happens due to instability issues in the respiratory control area in the brain. Poor signaling means periodic breathing pauses during sleep, hence, sleep apnea. Risk factors for central sleep apnea include heart disorders, male sex, narcotic pain medication, old age, etc.
This type of sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. It is a situation where an individual has central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.
Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
On the other hand, symptoms of central sleep apnea include:
You should seek sleep apnea treatment immediately you notice any of these signs because untreated sleep apnea can lead to many health problems.
You cannot cure sleep apnea naturally. At Warm Family Dentistry, we help our patients through the conventional treatments available. First, we start by addressing the risk factors. Heart failure and the use of opioid medication are some of those. Hence, treating a person for heart failure or any other medical problem and reducing/eliminating opioid medicines may work. Another method we frequently use is mechanical therapy. Let’s see how this works.
Doctors can treat sleep apnea through Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. It involves the patient wearing a mask that gently forces air through the nose and mouth to keep the airways open. Other types of mechanical therapy include:
The first line of action is conservative methods. These include:
If these fail, mechanical therapy comes in. People with mild to moderate sleep apnea can also benefit from an oral mouthpiece that keeps the airway open when sleeping.
Sleep apnea surgery is for people with excessive or malformed tissues that obstruct the airflow through the nose or throat. Surgeries for sleep apnea come in after CPAP machines and other conservative measures have failed. Surgical procedures for sleep apnea include: