Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a common sleep disorder that many people who have it don’t recognize. Marked by extremely loud and specific patterns of snoring, sleep apnea involves the cessation of breathing while you sleep. Though disruptive, it doesn’t always wake you from unconsciousness, so you may not even realize that your breathing has been interrupted. The good news is that there are many other symptoms of sleep apnea that could warn you of its presence, and of the need to find treatment as soon as possible.
OSA occurs when over-relaxed or oversized oral tissues collapse into the airway as you sleep. The obstruction causes you to snore, which grows increasingly louder as your airway becomes increasingly more obstructed. Eventually, your airway will become completely blocked, and your snoring will grow silent as you stop breathing. Moments later, your body will force itself awake to start breathing again, and the cycle will repeat itself (sometimes hundreds of times in a single night). Because of these multiple interruptions, sleep apnea makes it impossible to reach the deep levels of sleep, known as R.E.M. (rapid eye movement), that you need to rest properly.
The longer OSA is left untreated, the more it can leave you sleep deprived, and the resultant symptoms that you experience throughout the day can be a warning, such as:
If you believe you’re sleeping well, but experience any of these symptoms, then ask your dentist if you should explore sleep apnea treatment.
If you snore consistently, or if you experience any other common symptoms, then schedule a visit as soon as possible to determine if you have sleep apnea. Call Austin Prosthodontics in Austin, TX today at 512-250-9444.