3 FAQ's About Sleep Apnea

shutterstock_184759394Is your partner complaining about your loud snoring every night? Do you find yourself constantly waking up and persistently tired throughout the day? If so, these may be symptoms pointing to a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. While it can be difficult to diagnose because majority of the symptoms occur while you’re asleep, your dentist may recommend a sleep study to get a proper diagnosis. A sleep study will monitor the oxygen levels in your body throughout your sleep cycle to determine whether or not sleep apnea is causing your lack of rest.

1.What Causes Sleep Apnea?

There are several different factors that can contribute to disorders like this, but the reason you have such a hard time staying asleep is because the muscles in the back of your throat begin to relax. This closes off your airway – limiting the amount of oxygen that’s able to get to your brain.

2.Can Sleep Disorders Be Treated?

There are several different treatments your dentist may recommend depending on your situation. For mild cases of sleep apnea, the treatment could be an answer as simple as “lifestyle changes.” Often times, a healthy diet and proper exercise routine can turn things around. But, that’s not the only lifestyle change you may need to make. If you smoke or chew tobacco regularly, your dentist will most likely advise you to quit. These unhealthy habits greatly increase your chances of sleep apnea.

3.Will I Have To Sleep With A Machine?

A common treatment for a condition such as this is a CPAP machine – continuous positive airway pressure. However, many dentists recommend trying an oral appliance first, before going straight to the machine. An oral appliance may feel more comfortable, but usually is most effective in mild cases of sleep apnea. Don’t get discouraged – talk to your dentist about it first, they may have a few ideas up their sleeve!