AT MY SMILE DENTIST, WE ARE COMMITTED TO EDUCATING PATIENTS, WHICH IS WHY THIS ARTICLE FOCUSES ON AN IMPORTANT CONDITION WHICH ALL PATIENTS SHOULD BE AWARE OF.
Most Australians think of snoring as an annoying habit, but what most people are unaware of is that snoring can indicate you are suffering from a potentially serious medical condition known as sleep apnoea
This condition not only affects your sleep (with some patients waking up more than 30 times in an hour) but also your daily life and can lead to serious health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes. In this article, we discuss the associated health risks and the treatments available to cure sleep apnoea and get you back on the road to a better night’s sleep.
What is Sleep apnoea?
Snoring is only a small part of the problem, and not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Sleep apnoea is a potentially deadly condition where instead of partially blocking the airway while you sleep, the muscles completely block off the passage. This causes you to wake up so you can manually start the breathing process, and can occur hundreds of times a night.
Different types of sleep apnoea
Sleep apnea comes in several forms, and it is important to understand which may be affecting you. During your assessment here at My Smiles Dentist, we can determine the type of sleep apnea you are suffering from and thereby recommend the appropriate treatment plan.
Obstructive sleep apnoea: This is the most common form of sleep apnoea. Obstructive sleep apnoea causes most sufferers to snore loudly.
Central sleepâ€š apnoea: Central sleep apnea is a less common form of sleep apnoea, central sleep apnoea affects the central nervous system of people with this form of sleep apnoea seldom if ever snore.
Complex sleep apnoea: Complex sleep apnoea is a form of sleep apnoea which is a combination of obstructive sleep apnoea and central sleep apnoea.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP APNOEA
A common sign of sleep apnea is fighting sleepiness during the day. You may find yourself wanting to fall asleep during the quiet moments of the day when you’re not active, even if you’re not sleepy during the day.
- Chronic headaches
- Choking or gasping while asleep
- Long pauses in breathing
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
In children, sleep apnea can cause hyperactivity, poor school performance, and angry or hostile behavior. Children who have sleep apnea also may breathe through their mouths instead of their noses during the day.
5 HEALTH DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH SLEEP APNOEA
An obstructive sleep disorder can damage your judgment, work performance, mood, health, and safety. Below are the top 6 health dangers you need to be aware of.
High blood pressure. Obstructive sleep apnea can contribute to high blood pressure in people who have it. The frequent night-time waking that affect people with sleep apnoea causes hormonal systems to go into overdrive, resulting in high blood pressure levels at night. Low blood-oxygen levels may also contribute to hypertension in people with sleep apnoea.
Heart disease. People with obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to suffer heart attacks and die in the middle of the night. The causes may be low oxygen or the stress of waking up often during sleep. The disrupted oxygen flow caused by sleep apnea makes it hard for your brain to regulate the flow of blood in arteries and the brain itself.
Weight gain. Adding weight raises your risk of sleep apnea, and up to two-thirds of people with sleep apnea are severely overweight. Sleep apnoea causes the release of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you crave carbohydrates and sweets. Getting treatment for sleep apnea can make you feel better, with more energy to exercise.
Car accidents. Daytime grogginess can put people with sleep apnea at increased risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. People with sleep apnoea are up to five times more likely than normal sleepers to have traffic accidents.
Cognitive ability. Scientists measuring sleepiness have found that sleep deprivation leads to lower alertness and concentration. It’s more difficult to focus and pay attention, so you’re more easily confused. This hampers your ability to perform tasks that require logical reasoning or complex thought and retain information.
TREATING SLEEP APNEA AT MY SMILE DENTIST
The increased risk for health problems linked to sleep apnoea can be scary, but effective treatment for sleep apnea is available at My Smile Doctors, located in Sydney, Parramatta. Our high-quality treatments are designed to give you the best results possible, promoting better overall health and well being.