Sleep Apnea

We all need at least 7 hours of sleep every night as adults, yet around one-third of us don't get that. Hypertension, depression, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes are serious health issues that might result from this. Sleep apnea, in which breathing intermittently stops and resumes while asleep, is a significant contributor to poor sleep quality.

If you are a patient with sleep apnea, you may stop breathing while sleeping. Insufficient oxygen intake occurs in those who have sleep apnea. They gasp at it and often awaken as a result. People often think their sleep cycle is regular, although they have stopped breathing. Snoring is a common comparison for sleep apnea.

Besides making you more exhausted in the morning, sleep apnea may lead to various health issues. This sleeping disorder, if ignored, increases your chance of heart failure, immune system problems, memory loss, and mental health problems. However, this is easily curable, and we can help you with sleep apnea.

What Should You Know About Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea causes frequent breathing interruptions while you're asleep. These pauses in breathing may occur five to more than one hundred times each hour, and they usually last between ten and twenty seconds.

You are abruptly awakened by the lack of oxygen during a sleep apnea episode, generally for such a short period that you don't remember it. However, you spend more time in the "light sleep" cycle and less time in the "deep sleep cycle" you need for vigor, mental clarity, and productivity the following day because of these interferences with your normal sleep cycle.

The many forms of sleep apnea are listed below. Any good doctor can offer treatment for your sleep apnea based on your specific condition and requirements.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The most prevalent kind of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. It occurs when the muscles supporting the soft tissues of your upper airway relax and obstruct the usual movement of air into and out of your nose and mouth while you're sleeping. Breathing pauses and loud snoring are often the results of this.
  • Central Sleep Apnea: A considerably less frequent sleep apnea affecting the central nervous system is known as central sleep apnea. It happens when the brain momentarily ceases communicating with the respiratory muscles. It often results from an underlying medical problem.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea: Obstructive and central sleep apnea can combine to become complex or mixed sleep apnea.

The oxygen level in your blood decreases during a sleep apnea episode when airflow ceases. Your breathing typically restarts with a gasp or a gagging sound due to your brain's reaction, which momentarily wakes you up from sleep.

You generally won't recall these awakenings if you have obstructive sleep apnea. Typically, you'll only stir long enough to contract your neck muscles and widen your upper airway. If you have central sleep apnea, you could be aware of the awakenings and even recall them the next day.

What Are the Primary Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

You may stop breathing while you're sleeping if you have sleep apnea. Your brain attempts to wake you up enough to breathe to protect you. However, this keeps you from getting a good night's sleep. This issue may develop into major consequences over time. This is often extremely controllable, with careful attention to the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. There are several elemental and decisive signs of sleep apnea, some of which are more obvious than others.

  • Waking up feeling sleepy or even fatigued. Sleep apnea patients may feel exhausted even after a full night of sleep.
  • Fatigue throughout the day. In more extreme instances, this may make you drowsy when working, driving, or engaging in other tasks.
  • Snoring. Sleep apnea may sometimes exist without any snoring at all. Although it doesn't always happen, this is a frequent symptom of sleep apnea.
  • Mood swings. Anxiety and depression are frequent signs of sleep apnea.
  • Disturbances in brain activity. These could include problems with memory, concentration, or other brain-related problems.
  • Frequently waking up during your sleep in the middle of the night. Since most individuals have trouble remembering when or why they wake up, this symptom may be more difficult to detect.
  • Breathing pauses while sleeping that other people may see. While you are sleeping, a spouse, partner, or other loved one can notice these signs.
  • Insomnia Sweating throughout the night and being restless.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Waking up with a sense of being out of breath or choking.
  • Headaches, particularly upon awakening.

The Core Differences Between Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Not everyone with sleep apnea snores and not everyone who snores also has sleep apnea. So, how can you distinguish between common snoring and a more severe instance of sleep apnea?

The most obvious warning indication is how you feel during the day. Sleep apnea causes more disruption to your sleep than regular snoring does. Therefore, you have a lower chance of experiencing excessive exhaustion and drowsiness throughout the day.

Another indicator is how you sound when you snore. As previously said, you should be checked for sleep apnea if you are gasping, coughing, or producing strange noises.

Remember that even if you don't have sleep apnea, a snoring issue may interfere with your bed partner's sleep and impair the quality of your sleep. However, some methods and remedies might assist you in eliminating snoring. Our skilled doctors can also help you with sleep apnea treatment without any issues.

Get Help with Sleep Apnea

According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 18 million individuals in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea. The CPAP machine is the most often suggested solution for this condition. However, most patients don't continue using this machine since it may be heavy, noisy, and painful to wear.

Moreover, there are various alternatives to the CPAP machine that may be ideal, depending on a variety of variables. While some are less intrusive, others are more practical. Therefore, it's crucial to understand more about sleep apnea before looking into treatment alternatives.

Our well-versed dentists at Coeur d’Alene Dental Center can offer the most suitable treatments for sleep apnea. Make an appointment with us today, and our doctors will evaluate your symptoms before tailoring a treatment plan specifically designed to fit you!