3 Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Kennewick, WA

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, it is estimated that approximately 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Although fairly common, this type of disorder is a serious condition that prevents proper airflow during sleep. The resulting lack of oxygen and impacted sleep patterns can cause dangerous long-term complications, including:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic issues
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Liver disease

Because sleep apnea is such a serious issue fraught with major health risks, it is important to recognize the most common signs of the disorder and to seek evaluation and treatment should these symptoms arise.

3 common signs of sleep apnea

The effects of sleep apnea can vary greatly from person to person, and those with mild cases may not experience any symptoms at all. However, most people who deal with this issue usually notice one or more of these signs.

Snoring loudly

Snoring is a common problem and can be caused by anything nasal congestion and allergies to narrow sinus passages or enlarged tonsils. However, the snoring caused by sleep apnea tends to be incredibly loud and somewhat sporadic; it is often accompanied by snorting and other breathing issues.

Difficulty breathing while asleep

Those with sleep apnea actually stop breathing multiple times throughout the night. Sometimes, this causes the person to wake suddenly, gasping for breath or struggling to breathe. Most of the time, the person does not remember this happening the next day, so this symptom is often overlooked unless it is observed by a partner or family member.

Next-day symptoms

Many symptoms do not occur until the morning after as a result of the interrupted sleep from the night before. Those with sleep apnea often experience dry mouth, headaches, and serious fatigue the following morning. They may also have trouble concentrating or carrying on with normal everyday functions due to abnormal sleepiness throughout the day.

Dental treatments for sleep apnea

While the signs of sleep apnea may be the same, the type of condition can be different depending on the cause. Central sleep apnea, which is rare, is caused by the brain's failure to send the correct signals to the breathing muscles during sleep. On the other hand, obstructive sleep apnea, which is much more common, occurs when the muscles in the throat relax and block the passageway of air into the lungs. Obstructive sleep apnea can often be treated by a general dentist with a simple mouth appliance. Worn during sleep, this device helps keep the jaw aligned, preventing the muscles from relaxing and promoting healthy breath patterns throughout the night.

Conclusion

Sleep apnea is a common but serious sleep disorder. If left untreated, this condition can lead to serious health problems that could be life-threatening with time. People who experience the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea should see a professional right away for diagnosis and treatment. While some types of sleep apnea require medical intervention, others can be treated with a simple dental appliance. It is important to talk with your dentist and primary care physician to develop a safe and effective treatment plan.

Request an appointment here: https://www.gledhilldental.com or call Gledhill Dental at (509) 800-8410 for an appointment in our Kennewick office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Sleep Apnea in Kennewick, WA.

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