An apnea is a halt in breathing that often occurs during sleep, usually alongside shallow breathing or infrequent breaths. Sleep apnea can interfere with your sleep and also with the sleep of others, as it causes loud snoring. The effects of lost sleep can seriously impact the rest of your life, causing fatigue and irritability that interferes with all other activities.
But sleep apnea does more than just keep people awake. Without treatment, it can lead to serious health problems including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and adult asthma, as well as contributing to weight gain. If you are losing sleep to sleep apnea, a solution is available. Sherman Oaks offers sleep apnea treatment, allowing you and your family to get the rest you need.
Identifying sleep apnea
Loud, heavy snoring is often the first symptom that sufferers of sleep apnea notice. It can be loud enough to wake others, or even to wake you. Along with snoring, most signs of the disorder occur while you sleep and can be hard to observe. An overnight sleep study is necessary for a conclusive diagnosis; but there are warning signs that you and/or a partner can watch for at home.
- Loud snoring
- Waking up with a dry mouth, a sore throat, or a headache
- Pauses in breathing during sleep (observed by another person)
- Waking up suddenly feeling short of breath
- Sleepiness during the day (hypersomnia)
- Attention problems and irritability
Cause of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when your airway becomes blocked intermittently during sleep. Your tongue and soft palate can sag back into your airway, narrowing the passage to cause snoring and sometimes blocking the airflow entirely. This usually happens when there are problems with the size and tone of the tongue and soft palate, as seen below.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone, but some people are more likely to experience it than others. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:
- Being over 40
- Being male
- Being overweight
- Large neck size
Sleep apnea treatment
If you suffer from sleep apnea, we can help. All the problems associated with this disorder, from snoring to interrupted sleep, are caused by the blocked airway. Sherman Oaks offers several comfortable dental appliances that can correct the positioning of your tongue and palate, allowing you to breathe naturally. After an exam, Dr. Weyneth will help you choose the appliance that will be most helpful for you. With the blockage removed, you will see an immediate improvement in the quality of your sleep, and you and your family will be able to sleep in peace.
Treatment is available immediately. Call our office to schedule your exam, or request an appointment online. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have about sleep apnea or any other issues relating to your dental health. Don’t live with interrupted sleep. Call us today.