Sleep is an important restorative process. It allows your body to rest and repair itself so that you can function at its best during the day. Not only is getting enough sleep important, getting quality sleep is important too. When you sleep poorly, it can leave you feeling exhausted and unable to function properly. Everyone has the occasional bad night of sleep. There are millions of Americans, however, that experience this issue every day. If this sounds familiar, you may be living with a condition called sleep apnea and Harmony Dental can help.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Normally, your body goes through two different cycles while you sleep. These cycles repeat several times during the course of the night, allowing your body to properly rest and repair. Sleep apnea is a condition that affects your sleep. When you have sleep apnea, your breathing stops for several seconds, several times during the course of the night. Every time your breathing stops, your body partially wakes up so that you can begin breathing again. Every time that you fall back asleep, your body has to restart the sleep cycles all over again. Sleep apnea ranges in severity. Those with mild sleep apnea may have their breathing disrupted anywhere from 5 to 13 times per sleeping hour.
With severe sleep apnea, your breathing pauses 30 or more times per sleeping hour. With so much disruption in your sleep, your body cannot complete your sleep cycles, leaving you feeling incredibly exhausted in the morning.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Feeling tired when you wake up in the morning is just one symptom of sleep apnea. There are several other symptoms that occur as well. These include:
|Waking up with your throat feeling dry or sore.
|Difficulty concentrating during the day.
|Falling asleep during the day, even while driving or doing other tasks that require your full attention.
When sleep apnea goes untreated for a long time, it can begin to take a serious toll on your physical health as well as your mental health. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and low blood-oxygen levels.
How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
Diagnosing sleep apnea is done through a sleep study, which is typically done at a sleep clinic. During a sleep study, you are monitored while you sleep. You are attached to machines that monitor your breathing, your vitals, and your muscle activity. All of this information is recorded. After your sleep study is complete, a sleep specialist interprets the results and can diagnose you with sleep apnea, or other sleep-related condition. The specialist can also prescribe treatment.
What are the Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea?
There are many treatments available for sleep apnea. These treatments include:
|C-PAP. This is a machine that delivers a continuous stream of air through a small mask worn on your nose while you sleep.
|Oral appliance therapy. This is a treatment that involves wearing an oral appliance while you sleep. The appliance functions to keep your jaw in proper alignment, preventing your mandible from sliding back.
|Oral surgery. Oral surgery may be recommended in severe cases, when no other treatment has been effective.
With the right treatment, you can finally get the quality, restful sleep you have been longing for. Call Harmony Dental at (541) 246-3250 today to learn more.