Sleep Apnea Q&A
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common, but potentially serious sleep disorder that causes you to stop and start breathing multiple times during sleep. Left untreated, sleep apnea can interfere with your quality of life and lead to more serious health problems, including heart disease and liver problems. If you wake up most mornings with a headache or regularly have trouble staying focused at work, sleep apnea may be to blame.
Are there different types of sleep apnea?
There are three different types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type and occurs when the soft tissues at the back of your throat relax while you’re asleep.
Ultimately, this blocks your airflow and causes you to wake up gasping for air. If you think you might have sleep apnea, it’s important to make an appointment with Dr. Kheshtchin at A&N Dental.
Who is at risk of sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea affects men, women, and children. However, there are certain factors that may increase your risk, including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a narrowed airway
- Using alcohol or sedatives before bed
- Smoking cigarettes
- Regular nasal congestion
You’re also more likely to develop sleep apnea if your parents or grandparents had it. Researchers aren’t entirely sure why, but sleep apnea often runs in families.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea affects everyone differently, but there are telltale signs to watch out for. These include:
- Loud, frequent snoring
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Waking up throughout the night
- Trouble staying asleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
You might also feel irritable during the day or have trouble paying attention at work or school.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
To diagnose sleep apnea, Dr. Kheshtchin reviews your medical history, performs an oral exam, and asks about the symptoms you’re experiencing.
She might also order a series of dental cone beam CT scans to get a better look at your airways and the soft tissues at the back of your throat. After gathering all of this information, Dr. Kheshtchin makes a diagnosis.
How is sleep apnea treated?
For mild and moderate cases of sleep apnea, Dr. Kheshtchin usually recommends a night guard. A night guard is a custom oral appliance similar to a mouthguard that pushes your lower jaw forward. This improves airflow and helps you sleep comfortably throughout the night.
For more serious cases, Dr. Kheshtchin might refer you to a sleep specialist.
Everyone deserves a restful, rejuvenating night’s sleep. Make an appointment at A&N Dental by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.