Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Could You Be At Risk?
Are you tired of your spouse or partner complaining about your snoring? Are you tired of struggling to stay awake during the day?
Are you tired of feeling tired?
These could be symptoms of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that can lead to sleep deprivation and other serious problems.
Fortunately, our dentist office in Tulsa, OK, may be able to help with your sleep apnea treatment.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea is a condition in which people stop breathing when they are asleep.
In the case of obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of this sleep disorder, soft tissues collapse into the airways to cut off breathing.
In mild cases, these breathing stoppages can occur four to 14 times per hour. In severe cases, people can stop breathing 30 or more times each hour they are asleep.
That’s something you may not know is happening, but your family or friends may have noticed. Ask them about it, especially if you are experiencing one or more of these other symptoms:
☐ Loud, constant snoring
☐ Frequent morning headaches
☐ Waking up feeling like you are gasping for breath
☐ Trouble staying focused on a particular task
☐ Frequent daytime sleepiness
Many of these symptoms may be the result of sleep deprivation. When you stop breathing, your body will wake you up briefly so you will take a few breaths and stay alive.
That means you rarely get deep, healthy sleep, which can leave you feeling just as tired when you get up as you did when you went to bed.
Call 918-302-2401 to reach our dentist office in Tulsa today if those symptoms sound familiar. After a consultation, we may recommend a sleep test to help determine if you have sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
We need to state upfront that anyone can have sleep apnea. With that in mind, the risk factors mentioned below could make you more likely to have this condition.
► A narrow airway
If your airways are naturally small, this can affect how well you can breathe. (It also can amplify the sound of snoring.).
► Being overweight
People who are obese are four times more likely to have sleep apnea than people who are not. This can also create added pressure on the soft tissues around your airways, leading to blockages.
This could also affect the severity of your sleep apnea. Losing weight could be the difference between severe or moderate sleep apnea and mild sleep apnea.
► Being male
Men are twice as likely as women to have sleep apnea.
► Family history
If sleep apnea affects other people in your family, then you may have inherited the same physical traits that could lead to sleep apnea.
Smokers are three times more likely than nonsmokers to have sleep apnea.
► Getting older
This is important to know. Even if you don’t have sleep apnea now, it is something to pay attention to as you get older.
Again, we want to reiterate that none of these risk factors mean you have or will have sleep apnea. However, they do indicate whether you are more likely to have sleep apnea than someone else.
Again, our team at Galleria of Smiles can help you get diagnosed and get treatment for your sleep apnea if needed.
Treating Sleep Apnea
First things first, you will want to get diagnosed before you begin sleep apnea treatment. Sleep apnea is one of many possible sleep disorders, and we want to be sure that is what is affecting you.
We can provide you with an ARES™ sleep device, which you can use at home. A sleep doctor will examine your results to determine if you have sleep apnea.
If you do have obstructive sleep apnea, we can create one of four sleep appliances to help with your treatment. Oral appliances have been approved as a sleep apnea treatment option by the FDA, and many people find an appliance more comfortable than a CPAP machine.
We can create DynaFlex, Narval, Herbst, and SomnoDent appliances for you at our Tulsa dentist office. Dr. Justin Emami can discuss the differences with you to help you decide which one is right for your needs.
To get started, schedule an appointment at Galleria of Smiles by calling 918-302-2401 or by filling out our online form.