Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a common sleep breathing disorder that can have several different impacts on the quality of your sleep and daily life. However, many patients who have sleep apnea don’t realize they have it, even after they begin to exhibit some of the more obvious symptoms. There are many different things that sleep apnea can affect the longer you have to deal with it, many of which stem from the fact that the condition prevents you from reaching deep sleep. Today, we examine a few things that you’ll need to know if you have sleep apnea, including how to treat the condition so you can finally get the rest you deserve.
Dealing with Sleep Apnea
While sleep apnea may be a common condition, it isn’t very widely recognized. Even people who suffer from it may have never heard of it before being diagnosed. It’s ability to remain undetected is largely the result of people now recognizing it. The symptoms it can lead to however, are highly recognizable, and include signs of sleep deprivation even when you think you’re getting plenty of rest each night. The symptoms that develop are caused by the way in which sleep apnea interrupts your sleep pattern:
- It causes you to snore loudly – For many patients who have sleep apnea, the first clue of its presence is the chronic repetition of loud snoring. Sleep apnea involves the obstruction of your airway by oral and throat tissues. As this occurs, the shrinking space in your airway causes your breath to become more forceful and the walls of your throat to vibrate loudly.
- It causes you to stop breathing – Loud snoring doesn’t always mean you have sleep apnea. It may just mean you have a chronic snoring problem. However, if the snoring is interrupted periodically by moments of silence, then it’s likely that the silence is caused by your airway being completely blocked. This forces you to stop breathing, and causes the rest of your body to panic.
- It forces you out of your sleep pattern – When you stop breathing during a sleep apnea episode, it only takes a moment or two for your brain and body to register the lack of oxygen. It will cause them to panic and wake just enough to clear the airway, which interrupts the rhythm towards deeper, more regenerative sleep. These interruptions are why you may begin to feel sleep deprived the longer you wait to address your sleep apnea.
Find a solution to sleep better
If you have sleep apnea, it could be affecting more of your daily life and overall wellbeing than you might realize. To learn more about how we can help you deal with sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith and our team by calling Pecan Tree Dental in Grand Prairie, TX, today at (972) 262-5111.