Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential part of overall good health. Suffering from poor sleep is a common complaint for many people. Along with complaints about snoring from a bedmate, you may be feeling sluggish and experiencing symptoms such as dry mouth, sore throat, morning headaches and trouble concentrating.
If you are experience any of these symptoms, your first step should be to get tested for possible sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is more common than you’d think. Patients should undergo testing done by a healthcare professional to help identify the type of apnea, the severity of that apnea and its possible causes. Sleep apnea can be caused by a variety of different factors, including underlying medical conditions that should be treated in addition to the apnea itself. Central sleep apnea, for example derives from the brainstem and muscles used to breathe to miscommunicate and malfunction.
Central sleep apnea (CSA) is often an indication of more serious medical issues including congestive heart failure, encephalitis (brain swelling) and Parkinson’s disease. Another common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea- literally the airway being obstructed during sleep. Muscles in the throat and jaw may become so loose and relaxed during sleep that your airway becomes blocked, potentially multiple times a night, creating the apnea and disrupting breathing during sleep. Your second step is to determine just how bad your sleep apnea issue is. Sleep apnea can also be mild, moderate or severe. Understanding sleep apnea type, cause and severity will help guide your healthcare provider toward the right type of treatment.
Your third step is getting treatment and the good news is that most sleep apnea can be treated and often cured. There are a variety of options available for patients. Once diagnosed, you should discuss what treatment is right for your sleep apnea. Treatments can range from oral appliance therapies (OAT) and oral appliances to help airways stay open, to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines to surgery. If you’re ready to start your journey towards a good night’s sleep, contact our offices at Ornella Orthodontics to get started!