Are You Suffering From Sleep Apnea?

shutterstock_130173548Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that can be caused from a multitude of different things. If you’re finding yourself abruptly awakening throughout the night due to lack of breath, you may have sleep apnea. Since it occurs throughout your sleep, it can be difficult to diagnose. Are you suffering from sleep apnea? If you often snore loudly and experience excessive sleepiness, you could have this sleep disorder. Your dentist may recommend a sleep study if they suspect you have problems throughout the night.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, impeding on your airway. Typically, this leads to snoring because you’re unable to get a significant breath in. The reason you probably wake so often throughout the night is because your brain needs to wake you in order for you to breathe correctly.

Are You Able To Treat It?

There are several ways to help with your oxygen levels while you sleep. Your dentist may recommend different treatments depending on the severity of your condition.

For mild sleep disorders, your dentist may recommend some lifestyle changes – healthy diet, healthy habits, exercise, etc. Being overweight can contribute to your condition and smoking tobacco greatly affects your oxygen levels. In this case, your dentist may suggest trying to lose a little weight and getting rid of tobacco.

For more moderate to severe cases, your dentist may recommend using a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, which gently pushes oxygen into your airway to keep it open throughout the night.

For extremely severe situations, you could get surgery to remove soft tissues at the back of your throat. This wouldn’t help your throat muscles, but it will take away anything that could be contributing to the closure of your airway.