What Is Sleep Apnea?

What is Sleep Apnea?

Did you know that more than 18 million adults in America suffer from sleep apnea? This serious sleep disorder can impact your quality of life, health, and wellbeing. We, at Afton Dental, are proud to offer trusted sleep apnea solutions to help you sleep and feel your best. You can always count on us for care that exceeds your expectations!

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea, the most common type of which is obstructive sleep apnea, is a chronic sleep disorder in which a patient stops breathing as many as 20-30 times an hour. This happens when the muscles in the back of the throat relax. The soft tissue then collapses and constricts the airway, resulting in lower blood oxygen levels. The brain senses the lack of oxygen, briefly waking up the patient to restart breathing. The constant wake-sleep cycle prevents sleep apnea patients from reaching the deep, restful phase of sleep, resulting in a tired and drowsy feeling during the day.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Symptoms of sleep apnea include insomnia, waking up with shortness of breath, loud snoring, and gasping or snorting sounds during sleep. Some patients report morning headaches, difficulty staying asleep, daytime sleepiness, memory loss, extreme drowsiness throughout the day, difficulty focusing, and irritability. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Contact our office for the relief you need.

What Are the Risks of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can pose a threat to your safety as it increases the likelihood of driving or workplace accidents and raises the risk for health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and more. Sleep apnea can also cause complications when taking certain medications, or with anesthesia and surgery.

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

Diagnosing sleep apnea usually involves a complete sleep evaluation. Behavioral treatments include weight loss, smoking cessation, or changing your sleep position. Beyond that, treatment options include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, oral appliance therapy, or surgery.

CPAP therapy involves using a machine that blows a steady stream of pressurized air through a CPAP mask into the respiratory system. Oral appliance therapy, on the other hand, utilizes a custom-fitted mouthguard worn during sleep to position your mouth in a way that prevents throat blockage. Many patients find oral appliances more comfortable and effective than wearing CPAP masks. In some cases, surgical intervention is required to provide the needed relief.

Sleep Apnea Solutions Near Me

Visit Afton Dental in Concord, NC, to learn more about our sleep apnea solutions. Our custom-made oral appliances will help you enjoy restful, rejuvenating sleep. Call us and schedule your appointment today!