Sleep apnea in Park Cities is a common problem for adults and even some children. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs alongside loud, chronic snoring — but not all snorers are dealing with sleep apnea! Keep reading to learn the difference between the two, and how you can find relief for both. Because everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, every single night.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes sufferers to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. A person with this disorder may have their sleep interrupted hundreds of times in one night. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues of the mouth — the tongue and the throat — collapse and block the proper flow of air throughout the body. Without the oxygen it needs to thrive, the brain sends out an emergency signal to wake up and resume breathing.
The risk factors for sleep apnea include:
- Being overweight or obese (the most significant risk factor)
- Having a narrow passageway or small throat
- Deviated septum
- Taking medications that affect sleep
- Heavy alcohol consumption, especially before bed
If you have any of these risk factors of sleep apnea and also frequently suffer from snoring and/or poor, interrupted sleep, consult your general doctor or qualified sleep dentist to find out if you need a screening for sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea vs. Snoring
Snoring is a problem for the person who does it as well as anyone in the general vicinity. If you or a loved one snore, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have obstructive sleep apnea. Most people experience temporary bouts of snoring, like during allergy season or when they’re stopped up. But if the snoring progresses from a temporary annoyance to a real, chronic problem, it’s time to seek a professional solution. Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can be treated by your qualified dentist.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
The standard treatment for sleep apnea has long been the CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machine. It’s a mask that fits over your nose and mouth and keeps the airway open by pumping air into the lungs while you sleep. Sound distracting? It often is — and more and more patients are seeking effective alternative treatment with oral appliance therapy.
An oral appliance for sleep apnea is small, portable, and silent. It looks sort of like an athletic mouthguard, and it works by repositioning the jaw to prevent its collapse during sleep. With an oral appliance, you can breathe smoothly throughout the night without any any noisy distraction from snoring or CPAP.
No matter which method of treatment is best for you, the important thing is seeking a solution. In the worst cases, untreated sleep apnea can result in premature death — so don’t wait to visit a professional for the relief you need!
About the Author
Dallas Esthetics is a trusted provider of sleep apnea therapy for patients in and around Dallas, TX. To learn more about sleep apnea in Preston Hollow or to schedule an appointment with an expert team, you are invited to contact the office at (214) 827-1150.