Spring Allergies – Or Sleep Apnea?

There is a chainsaw in your bedroom. At least that’s what it sounds like every time your spouse goes to sleep at night. You may notice that the noise gets louder at certain times of the year, like the spring, when it’s common for allergies to irritate the nasal passages.

But all that snoring could actually be a warning sign of something more serious – sleep apnea.

Common Signs of Sleep Apnea

WebMD cites studies that show people with allergies like hay fever are more than two times as prone to sleep disorders including insomnia and sleep apnea. As much of 30% of the U.S. population suffers from sleep disorders tied to allergies – including sleep apnea.

So what is sleep apnea? People with sleep apnea actually stop breathing when they’re asleep. The American Dental Association (ADA) says there are two primary types of this disorder:

  • Central sleep apnea happens when the brain’s signal mechanisms misfire, causing the body to stop breathing. The airway isn’t blocked; the muscles just forget to work. This is the less common of the two types of apnea.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea happens when airflow is blocked by soft tissue at the back of the throat during sleep.

These are potentially serious issues that, if left untreated, could cause serious health issues including diabetes, depression, high blood pressure or stroke. The University of California, Berkeley, says these disorders are on the rise due to the high incidence of adult obesity in the American population.

What are some of the most common signs of sleep apnea? They include:

  • Snoring
  • Choking or gasping during sleep
  • Inability to fall asleep or insomnia
  • Waking up with a sore throat
  • Weight gain
  • Feeling sleepy during the day
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of interest in sexual activity

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, help can be found in a place you may not have considered – your Las Vegas dentist.

How a Las Vegas Dentist Can Help Sleep Apnea

We treat patients with sleep apnea routinely. Dr. Hadley specializes in an area of dentistry called dental sleep medicine. The discipline focuses on using oral appliance therapy to treat snoring and allergy-related sleep apnea. An oral appliance is worn inside the mouth during sleep. It fits like a sports mouth guard and is custom designed to prevent your airway from collapsing during sleep apnea. The device shifts and supports the jaw in a way that keeps the airway open even during the deepest sleep.

The device can work wonders in resolving the majority of sleep apnea symptoms and has the added benefit of helping your spouse get more sleep because it shuts down those chainsaw noises you’ve been making every night.

Dr. Hadley and his dentistry team have been specializing in this unique and important area of dentistry for more than three years. It’s a growing area of our practice.

Dr. Hadley is a member in good standing of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. When you’re ready to tackle this debilitating condition, please contact us – help is just a phone call away