Showing Signs of Sleep Apnea?
- Posted on: May 15 2017
Approximately 20 million American adults live with some form of sleep apnea (obstructive sleep apnea is the most common). That is a staggering number, but it gets even more dramatic – experts estimate that 80% of those with sleep apnea never get diagnosed. This is significant because sleep apnea creates a domino effect that seriously threatens long-term health and wellness. Here, we want to look at a few of the indicators that sleep apnea exists.
- Snoring. Because chronic snoring is one of the first indicators of sleep apnea, there is a huge temptation to stop right there. “I only snore; and, ya, it’s bad.” No, it’s worse than bad – it could be fatal. Look beyond snoring for additional clues.
- Silence. Here is where we start to recognize sleep apnea, in the moments of silence, and in the noises that are made on each side of a pause. It goes like this: the sleeper snores loudly, then goes silent. After a momentary break in noise, the sleeper may make a gasping or choking sound before loud snoring resumes. The silence means no air is passing through. Choking or gasping occurs when the body is jolted with adrenaline. These episodes may last 10-20 seconds, and may occur as many as 30 times an hour!
- You can’t get enough sleep, no matter how much you sleep. There is a good reason for the chronic fatigue experienced by sleep apnea sufferers; they are getting quality sleep! They are constantly roused by the adrenaline their brain produces when robbed of oxygen. The fatigue of a severely sleep-deprived person puts him at a greater risk of accidents as well as health problems.
- Mornings are a pain. Literally. People with sleep apnea often wake up with a headache due to the lack of adequate oxygen in the brain.
- Every day is a pain. This one is more figurative. When sleep is lacking, it is very difficult to have the energy needed to interact with others. Many patients with sleep apnea are diagnosed with other conditions, such as anxiety or depression – or both.
There are several ways in which sleep apnea can be treated. One of the simplest is to maintain an open airway via a custom oral appliance. Simi Valley dentist Dr. Bankhardt is familiar with sleep apnea and can help you determine if you or a loved one may need help managing this condition. Learn more! Schedule a consultation at 805-584-1194.
Posted in: Uncategorized