Your Las Vegas dentist knows that sleep apnea is a serious problem. That’s because our team treats dozens of people every year that struggle with this disorder. With the American Sleep Apnea Association citing the number of people with this disorder at 22 million, the likelihood of you suffering from apnea is high.
This article looks at common signs of sleep apnea, the problems it can cause, and the solutions to help get you feeling better fast.
Do you snore like a lawnmower?
Ask your significant other if you snore like a lawnmower. Do you gasp and choke every night? Do you wake up with a headache every day, just as tired as when you went to bed?
If you answered in the affirmative to each of these questions, you might have obstructive sleep apnea. Apnea happens when the upper part of your airway actually snaps closed when your tongue collapses against the soft palate and interrupts breathing. The lack of oxygen causes you to wake up gasping, and then usually you go right back to sleep.
Doesn’t that make you tired just thinking about that process? People with sleep apnea do this all night long, every night, day in and day out. That’s why they are chronically tired.
It’s no wonder this can cause long-term health problems.
Is sleep apnea making you sick?
The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) has a laundry list of sickness that can be caused by sleep apnea:
- Chronic heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Atrial fibrillation
- Type 2 diabetes
A chronic lack of sleep can cause car wrecks or construction site accidents. The ASAA says, “Few outside the sleep medicine community, however, are aware that too little good sleep appears to be as much a factor in obesity as too much food and too little exercise.”
There are three types of sleep apnea and Dr. Hadley’s team works with sleep specialists to correct all of them:
- Obstructive sleep apnea, when the tongue collapses and shuts down breathing.
- Central sleep apnea occurs when the airway isn’t blocked, but the brain fails to signal your muscles to breathe.
- Complex sleep apnea is a combination of #1 and #2.
Now, here’s the good news: We can fix this.
Fixing sleep apnea is simple
The first thing we usually recommend is a sleep study. This is a process of monitoring blood oxygen, respiration, brain waves, and leg movement. We also watch how many times the sleep apnea occurs each hour.
When sleep apnea is diagnosed, your Las Vegas sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Hadley, prescribes an oral appliance to wear during sleep. The device, pioneered by sleep apnea dentists, is must less invasive than the CPAP machines you’ve probably seen. We’ve found patients adjust more quickly to this device, and the energy and restfulness they feel upon even a week or two of treatment is work this short adjustment period.
To find out if you have sleep apnea, contact our office. Dr. Hadley is the only dentist in the Las Vegas area certified by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.