Sneaky Signs of Sleep ApneaMonday, April 29th, 2013, 12:33 am
When family members down the hall complain about your snoring it is a good sign that you might have a sleep breathing disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. But what are the sneaky signs of sleep apnea? The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that more than 20 million adults may suffer from sleep apnea so it is important to learn about this common disorder.
People with sleep apnea stop breathing during sleep. Those with mild sleep apnea may only stop breathing a few times but some people can experience this hundreds of times each night. When a sleeper with sleep apnea stops breathing the body becomes starved for oxygen and the brain briefly wakens the sleeper to begin breathing again. The problem is that the sleeper doesn’t remember these episodes — they only know that they feel exhausted all the time.
Most people think that snoring is annoying, but harmless. The truth is that loud snoring is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, weight gain and depression. Diagnosing and treating obstructive sleep apnea can make major improvements in a patient’s overall health and feeling of well-being.
Some sneaky signs of sleep apnea include waking with a sore throat or cotton mouth, morning headaches, trouble paying attention or focusing (especially common in children with sleep apnea), being more irritable or depressed than usual, gaining weight or developing diabetes. Obstructive sleep apnea sufferers are typically sleepy throughout the day which puts them at a higher risk for accidents.
Treating obstructive sleep apnea may involve a CPAP machine which is a wonderful treatment for the disorder. Unfortunately, about half of patients who are prescribed CPAP find it impossible to sleep with the masks and hoses and cannot use the machine.
Oral appliance therapy from a dentist who is trained in treating sleep apnea is a comfortable and effective alternative. Find out more about oral appliance therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439.