The first step to resolving an issue is to acknowledge that there is one. But with obstructive sleep apnea, patients often spend years not knowing that anything is wrong, and the collective effects on their health can be overwhelming by the time they seek treatment.
Yet, the problem is that patients don’t often recognize the symptoms of sleep apnea (like excessive snoring), or don’t realize that such symptoms indicate a serious problem. To know if you have sleep apnea, your best chances lie in seeking a professional diagnosis from your dentist, especially if you snore consistently.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that involves many of the same factors as snoring – particularly, the clogging of your airway by mouth and throat tissues. When you snore, the obstruction is partial, growing louder the more tissues collapse into the airway. When you have sleep apnea, however, the tissues will continue clogging the airway until it is completely blocked off and your breathing stops.
Before long, your brain will automatically wake your body up to start breathing again, and usually, you will not notice the disruption. But the pattern can repeat itself hundreds of times in a single night, and prevent you from entering REM sleep, which you need to rest and rejuvenate properly.
Beware the Signs of Sleep Apnea
Besides the loud snoring associated with sleep apnea, other symptoms of the condition can warn you of its presence, including;
- Chronic daytime fatigue
- Trouble concentrating during the day
- Inability to handle stress
- Mood swings
- And more