Sleep apnea: The danger of not sleeping well
Deep restful sleep is a critical component of a healthy life. If you snore, can’t sleep, are always tired or suffer from any of the symptoms noted above, we recommend you seek help. The first step is a visit to your medical doctor. If, after a sleep study, OSA is your diagnosis, take heart in the fact that effective sleep apnea and snoring treatment is possible and can help you get the sleep you need.
What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
When you suffer from sleep apnea, the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much to allow normal breathing. Your airway narrows, or even loses as you breathe in. During an OSA event, breathing may be inadequate for 10 to 20 seconds, which can lower your oxygen blood levels.
To re-start your breathing, your brain briefly wakes you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway, and start breathing again. Most people don’t even realize they have woken up, as it is so brief.
CPAP keeps your airways open
Many physicians recommend CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) for treatment of sleep apnea. The drawback to this option is it can be noisy and uncomfortable.
Although it an effective treatment, many patients abandon the machine, or don’t use it for the whole time they are sleeping because they find the pump and mask assembly that works by forcing air into the throat to keep the airways open too difficult to tolerate.
Sleep devices correct your jaw position
A sleep device is an appliance similar to those used for TMJ disorders. These appliances work by positioning your jaw and/or tongue to help keep your airway open during sleep.
Sleep apnea devices or CPAP, which is best for you?
Sleep apnea can be a dangerous medical condition, and it has a variety of causes, so it’s critical you get the best treatment for your individual case. The first step is a sleep disorder diagnosis from your medical doctor.
Once diagnosed your doctor or sleep specialist and, in some cases, your dentist can work together to find an effective treatment.
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What is sleep apnea?
OSA causes your breathing to stop momentarily while you sleep. During these episodes of interrupted breathing, your blood oxygen level drops. This drop in blood oxygen causes your brain to awaken and resume breathing.
Although you most likely are not conscious of these episodes, and may not remember them in the morning, they can disrupt your sleep.
Sleep apnea is often classified by its severity. This is based on how often your apneas occur and how low your blood oxygen level goes.
Being awakened continually throughout the night can make it very difficult for you to reach and remain in the deeper stages of sleep that are important to physical and mental rejuvenation.