What are the Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea has become more and more important as studies show how this particular sleeping disorder can affect a person's overall health and well-being. Physicians are better trained to determine the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea to better diagnose and treat the issue. Several symptoms of sleep apnea may carry into other medical conditions, so it is important to know what is going on with your own body and help your physician determine the underlying problem.
To understand sleep apnea better, it is essential that you know what is causing it. Sleep apnea is often caused by an obstruction. This obstruction can be your throat muscles, your tongue, the alignment of your head and neck, or even your tonsils. When your airway is blocked during sleep, you will have difficulty breathing. Patients with sleep apnea will not get enough airflow into the lungs and it will cause a drop in oxygen levels. When this happens, your brain is told to wake up. With sleep apnea, this pattern can happen several hundred times each night, keeping the individual from getting a true, full night's sleep. This, in turn, can affect a person's nighttime and daytime lifestyle.
Common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Excessive snoring while sleeping (as noticed by a bed partner)
- Gasping or shortness of breath during sleep (as noticed by a bed partner)
- Daytime sleepiness
- Inability to concentrate
- Deteriorating memory
- Dry throat upon waking up
- Headache in the early morning hours
- Mood swings
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you will want to consider going to your physician to get a proper diagnosis, usually through a sleep study. Once you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your physician will recommend several sleep apnea treatments. One treatment option includes the use of an oral appliance made through your dental office. Dr. Levenson of Worcester is one area dentist that can fabricate oral appliances to help treat the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea for patients who struggle with this sleep disorder. Oral appliances are often preferred over the often-recommended CPAP machines, which are cumbersome and difficult to use for many. Compliance with oral appliances gives patients the ability to treat the issue and experience a healthier lifestyle and better quality of life.