What is Sleep Apnea?
According to estimates, approximately 18 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder. What makes things worse is that 80% of moderate and severe sleep apnea cases remain undiagnosed.
Untreated sleep apnea can have several negative consequences for your health. Fortunately, at Joshua Austin, DDS FAGD FACD, we can offer you several treatments to reduce the symptoms of this disorder.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Causes
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea and afflicts about 15% of the adult population of the United States.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that is marked by a sudden cessation of an individual’s breathing during sleep. This typically happens when the muscles at the back of the throat relax to such an extent that they obstruct the airway. When that happens, your breathing is interrupted for a few seconds. When the brain registers the low blood oxygen levels, it causes the body to wake up so that it can resume breathing.
This pattern can repeat itself up to 30 times in an hour. People with severe obstructive sleep apnea may experience cessation of breathing hundreds of times in a single night. Often, the waking time is so short that the individual does not remember it and hence remains unaware that they have sleep apnea.
However, the effects of sleep apnea are seen in other ways.
Side Effects and Complications of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
You may become aware that something becomes amiss during your sleep when you wake up frequently with a dry mouth and scratchy throat, fatigued and not able to concentrate during the day, have mood swings and irritability, and find yourself waking up suddenly without any cause several times during the night. Untreated sleep apnea can also result in several other serious health issues like anxiety and depression, mental health issues, memory loss, acid reflux, poor immunity, and a number of serious health risks, including:
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Fortunately, sleep apnea can be treated effectively. At Joshua Austin, DDS FAGD FACD, or can help manage your condition by prescribing non-invasive therapies like the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and oral appliances as well as recommending lifestyle changes. If your sleep apnea is severe, surgical intervention may be required.
If you suspect you or your partner have sleep apnea, do not hesitate to call us at (210) 408-7999 today so that we may discuss your treatment options.