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Sleep Apnea

Woman covering ears while husband snoresSleep apnea is a disorder which can impact the patient’s health without them even noticing. It is chronic in nature too. Many patients are completely unaware that they even have sleep apnea or are suffering from some of the symptoms. It is only when the condition worsens to the point that they wake up gasping for air or even awaken with the distinct sense of being smothered. For those patients who are suffering from sleep apnea or are concerned they may have it, they should come visit us at our office where we can provide an assessment.

Are there Different Types of Sleep Apnea?

It is a very common type of sleep disorder which causes sporadic disruptions with the patient’s ability to properly breathe while sleeping. This can be caused by a physical deformity which can obstruct the airway or in some cases the brain improperly communicates with the muscles in charge of stimulating breathing.

There are in fact three different categories of sleep apnea. The first type is known as obstructive sleep apnea which is known as OSA. This involves a physical anomaly that can obstruct the flow of air as the patient tries to breathe. The second type is caused by the improper brain signals sent to breathe and is known as CSA. In some cases, patients have been known to have both. When both types of sleep apnea occur, it is known as complex sleep apnea syndrome or CSAS. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea rarely feel rested and can feel drowsy and unable to concentrate throughout their day.

What Are Some Sleep Apnea Symptoms?

Loud snoring is one of the symptoms patients can experience as well as waking up numerous times each day. If a patient has headaches in the morning or difficulty sleeping these too are symptoms. Any irregular sleep habits along with extreme dry mouth can be indicative of sleep apnea too.

What are the Risks of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is one of those conditions that can strike at any age and at any time, even in children. Not every patient who suffers from sleep apnea shows any symptoms. There are risk factors which can increase a patient’s likelihood of being diagnosed with sleep apnea. Those patients who smoke tobacco products including cigars, cigarettes, pipes, or even e-cigarettes all have a higher risk of sleep apnea. If a patient has a family history of sleep apnea, then there is an increased likelihood of contracting it. People with abnormally sized necks or who abuse alcohol can have a higher risk too. Nasal congestion, heart disorders, and a history of stroke are also contributors.

What are the Available Treatments?

Sleep apnea can lead to significant health problems if not properly treated. Patients need to get restful sleep so they can let their bodies heal and prepare for the next day. If treated it lowers the chances of stroke or cardiovascular conditions.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliances can help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. An oral appliance can provide you with safer and more restful sleep. It works by keeping your jaw and tongue in a forward position, which prevents them from blocking your airway, even after the muscles fully relax.

For those patients with symptoms or those with a family history of sleep apnea why not come in for an evaluation? Come see us in our office at Alki Dental. We are available by phone too at 206-791-2020. Give us a call for your appointment.
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