If you find yourself falling asleep while watching television, as a passenger in the car, or after eating lunch without alcohol, you could be suffering from Sleep Apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
There are two types of Sleep Apnea, the more common is Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the muscles in your throat relax and the upper passage of your airway closes. The other type, Central Sleep Apnea, is rarer and is a disruption in your breathing due to brain functions. Central Sleep Apnea is normally associated with a serious illness and can cause breathing to cease for up to twenty seconds in infants.
To determine if you might have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, read through the following symptoms. If three or more apply to you, ask your doctor or dentist about sleep apnea.
Some Sleep Apnea Signs and Symptoms Include:
- Daytime Sleepiness
- You have been told that your snore
- You have jolted awake gasping for breath or have been told that you stopped breathing while asleep
- Poor Concentration
- Slow Reflexes
- Poor Memory
- Excessive Sweating during the Night
- Morning Headaches
- Trouble controlling weight
- Sore Throat or Dry Mouth
Over time, sleep apnea can contribute to the cause of serious health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and even weight gain.
Identifying Sleep Apnea on your own can be difficult as most of the symptoms such as gasping for breath, choking, snoring and the inability to breathe only occur when you are asleep. Your partner can help observe your sleeping habits, or you can record yourself when you are asleep. Keep a sleep diary and record how often you wake up at night. If you have a partner, ask him or her to keep track of how loud, and how often you snore. Also, ask your partner to take note of choking, gasping, or other sounds that are unusual while you are sleeping.
Talking to your doctor is the best way to diagnose sleep apnea. Your doctor will be able to provide you with a sleep study in order to determine the root cause of your symptoms.
Remember, not everyone who snores suffers from sleep apnea, and not everyone who suffers from sleep apnea snores. One of the bigger clues can be how you feel during your waking hours. Normal snoring does not cause extreme fatigue like sleep apnea does.
How Can my Dentist Help?
If you have been properly diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or would like to learn more, schedule your FREE consultation with Dawson Dental today! Our Dentists can help you feel rested again with a custom fabricated non-obstructive oral appliance.
Dawson Dental Centres are knowledgeable and caring, with 17 locations across Ontario including Downtown Toronto, Cambridge, Aurora and more. We offer General & Cosmetic Dentistry services such as dental implants, Invisalign invisible braces, dental veneers & sleep apnea. New patients are warmly welcome!