Should Your Spouse Be Tested For Sleep Apnea?
You don’t know how much more of this you can take. Night after night, your spouse’s snoring prevents you from getting a full night’s sleep.
As annoying as the constant snoring is, it’s not what worries you the most. Since you are awake, you also can’t help noticing those brief times when the snoring does stop. That’s when your partner stops breathing for what seems like minutes. It’s scary to think about.
You decide to go to another room in the hopes of getting some sleep. You may still be able to hear the snoring, or you may find yourself thinking about those breathing stoppages instead.
What could be wrong? Is there someone who can help?
Your spouse could have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which a person can stop breathing dozens and even hundreds of times every night.
And you can get help. Our dentist office in Tulsa, OK, offers sleep apnea testing and treatment.
By getting treated, you could be doing a lot more than just helping yourself sleep easier.
The Risks Of Untreated Sleep Apnea
The loud, constant snoring you are hearing nightly is one of the most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, which also happens to be the most common type of sleep apnea.
When someone has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), soft tissues can block their airways when they fall asleep. This typically happens gradually. When airways are narrowed (such as when they are partially blocked), this can amplify the sound of snoring.
When the airways are completely blocked, your spouse or partner stops breathing.
Here’s what you may not realize. When your spouse starts breathing again, it’s because he or she is waking up briefly. Your spouse may not have any memory of this, but it’s enough to prevent him or her from getting deep, healthy sleep.
That can lead to sleep deprivation, which can cause irritability and frequent daytime sleepiness. This may also explain why studies have shown that people with untreated sleep apnea are more than twice as likely to be involved in car accidents.
That isn’t the only health risk associated with untreated sleep apnea, however. People with OSA are more likely to have high blood pressure and to suffer cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, heart disease, and strokes.
In other words, snoring may be the least of your concerns when it comes to untreated OSA.
How Sleep Apnea Is Treated
The key to treating OSA is finding a way to keep your spouse’s airways open when he or she is asleep.
One way to do this is with a CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure machine. This requires the user to wear a mask while sleeping. The mask is connected to a machine that pushes air into the airways to keep them open. When it works correctly, your spouse will snore less and stay asleep longer, which means he or she is more likely to get deep, healthy sleep.
Unfortunately, many people have problems using CPAP machines. Some people can’t fall asleep while wearing the mask. Some people find the mask irritating, and others find the sound of the machine itself keeps them awake at night.
This is why we offer another treatment option at Galleria of Smiles. We can create a custom-designed oral appliance for your partner to wear at night. These appliances are like mouthpieces. Wearing one changes the position the jaw in a way that helps to keep your spouse’s airway open.
You should know that it may take a little time for your partner to adjust to sleeping with a mouthpiece. With time, your spouse will sleep better and snore less, which means you should be able to sleep easier, too.
Start By Setting Up a Sleep Test
While snoring is a common symptom of OSA, it’s not the only reason people snore. By coming to Galleria of Smiles, we can provide an ARES™ sleep device for your spouse. This way he or she can do a sleep test in the comfort of your bed rather than in an unfamiliar bed in a sleep lab.
Don’t lose another night’s sleep because of your partner’s snoring or your worries. Call 918-302-2401 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our dentist office in Tulsa, OK.
Let us help you and your spouse get the healthy sleep that you deserve.