Every night it’s the same: You wake up to the sounds of your partner snoring away. While they are slumbering soundly, you are fighting to ignore the cacophony of sounds so you can get some well-deserved rest. Don’t be too jealous of your partner’s ability to sleep, though. If they are snoring, it may be an indication of something more troublesome: obstructive sleep apnea. At Dentistry by Angela Britt, we know all about the symptoms of sleep apnea and, best of all, how to help you and your partner get the sleep you desperately need.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep. During these moments, breathing actually ceases for seconds at a time. The most obvious sign of apnea is snoring, but other common symptoms include:
- Waking up gasping for air
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
Why Is It Harmful?
Sleep-deprived partners aren’t the only ones who suffer. Those with untreated sleep apnea have an increased risk of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Accidents at work or in the car (due to excessive drowsiness)
- Mood disorders such as depression or anxiety
How Can We Help?
The most common solution for obstructive sleep apnea used to be a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. While CPAP was effective at correcting the apnea, it required users to wear a mask that kept them tethered via hose to a machine. A more comfortable and equally effective treatment, however, is a customized oral appliance.
An oral appliance places your jaw in a position that prevents airway obstruction. Unlike a CPAP machine, an appliance allows you to move freely throughout the night. They are easy to wear (though may take some time to adjust to) and travel well, as they can be placed in a purse or carry-on bag.
If you or your partner have recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and are ready for a restful sleep, let us help! Dr. Britt would be happy to meet with you to discuss the procedure and help you be well on your way to optimal health. If you live in Brunswick, Georgia or the surrounding areas, contact our office to schedule a consultation. We look forward to seeing your smile!