Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that disrupts a person’s breathing while they sleep. There are three primary types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
OSA happens when something blocks your airway. Typically, this happens when the soft tissue collapses in the back of the throat when sleeping. OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) - Lack of signal from the brain instructing the body to breathe.
CSA occurs when the brain doesn’t send the proper instructs the body to telling it to breathe. This can be prompted by various kinds of medical conditions such as arthritis, encephalitis, and Parkinson's disease.
Mixed Sleep Apnea - A combination of both OSA and CSA.
Signs and Symptoms
Some potential signs of sleep apnea include:
Pauses in breath while sleeping
Waking up feeling short of breath
Trouble falling back to sleep after waking up during the night
Headaches in the morning
Sore throat or dry mouth when first waking up
Sleepiness and fatigue throughout the day despite sufficient sleep
Who is at Risk?
Any person throughout their life can be effected. The following may enhance your risk of sleep apnea:
Over the age of 40
Large neck, tongue, uvula, or tonsils
Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
Nasal blockage from allergies, deviated septum, or other sinus issues
Genetics/Family history of sleep apnea
If sleep apnea is not properly treated the follow medical conditions can occur:
High blood pressure
You can help prevent sleep apnea by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, exercise, and sleep. To reduce your risk of sleep apnea, consider these prevention methods:
A healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, exercise, and a regular sleep schedule may reduce your risk of being affected by sleep apnea. To further reduce your risk of being affected, you may want to consider the following:
Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and other sedatives that may relax the throat and constrict breathing.
Try to sleep in a position that enables you to sleep easily. Keep in mind that sleeping on your back may encourage your soft tissue to collapse and restrict your breathing.
Losing weight may alleviate stress on your neck and heart and allow you to sleep with fewer interruptions.
At Dental Group at Polaris, we recognize that all our patients have unique needs. We work hard to provide you with the very best treatment to help you live your healthiest life possible.
Several treatment methods may be used to help you can sleep well through the night. Some of our treatments include: