Are you wondering what is Sleep Apnea? Worcester Dentist has answers and treatment.
People around the world lose sleep on a regular basis. Many of them snore; some quite loudly. Even in such instances, however, the question of sleep apnea rarely comes up. Many individuals who suffer from sleep apnea are unaware of it. Sleep apnea is more than a pesky problem; this condition can be quite dangerous if not treated.
There are three categories of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of the disorder. Episodes of apnea occur when throat muscles relax and block the airway.
- Central sleep apnea is when the brain doesn’t send the proper signals to muscles that control breathing.
- Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obtrusive and central sleep apnea.
All types of sleep apnea produce the same effect. During an episode, air flow stops and oxygen level in the blood decreases. The response in the body is that sleep is disrupted enough to prompt breathing. A person with sleep apnea may be disturbed hundreds of times a night while never waking enough to realize he or she has stopped breathing. Consequently, it’s important to be aware of the signs of sleep apnea. These include:
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Gasping, snorting, or choking sounds
- Pauses in breathing
- Sleepiness during the day, regardless of how many hours of rest one receives
- Restlessness or fitful sleep
- Irritability or depression
- Difficulty concentrating
- Waking often during the night
All forms of sleep apnea are treatable. The most common treatment is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy (CPAP). A CPAP machine increases air pressure in the throat so the airway does not collapse when a breath is taken. Most CPAP machines feature a mask that is worn over the nose; or prongs that fit into the nose.
There are also dental alternatives to treating sleep apnea. Dr. Levenson is skilled at recognizing and treating obstructive sleep apnea Worcester with a customized dental appliance. If you’re ready to get the sleep you need, schedule a consultation to determine if you may have sleep apnea.