Getting eight full hours of sleep has become quite difficult in today's world, considering the lifestyle and working hours of recent times. What could be more disturbing is sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, which further reduce sleep quality by negatively influencing it. Getting such conditions treated at the earliest is crucial in keeping them from becoming severe and affecting you deeply.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder involving frequent pauses in breathing and partial or complete blockage of the airway. There are two types of sleep apnea - Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea:This condition is caused due to the blockage of the airway by the collapse of the tissues of the throat, thus obstructing the easy flow of air in and out of the lungs. Patients also experience frequent pauses in breathing, which they would be completely unaware of.
Central sleep apnea:This condition is caused due to the malfunction of the brain while signaling the lungs to inhale air on time. Due to this, the body wouldn't receive the ideal amount of oxygen.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
- Frequent pauses in the breathing pattern
- Blockage of the airway during sleep due to which the patient would often wake up gasping for air
- Lack of deep sleep
- Bruxism or clenching the jaw during sleep
- TMJ disorder
- Feeling sleepy during daytime
- Reduced level of tolerance
What is the treatment?
When you visit the sleep specialist to get the condition diagnosed, they will conduct a sleep test to understand your condition's severity better. During this, they will closely monitor your vitals, eye movement, and body movement patterns while you sleep. As a treatment form your dentist, you may bring about a few changes in your everyday lifestyle, such as limiting the consumption of alcohol, quitting smoking, reducing the consumption of foods with saturated fats as it helps to reduce weight, etc.
If these methods do not yield the desired results, we will suggest an oral appliance called the mandibular advancement device (MAD). When the patient puts it on before going to sleep, it brings the lower jaw forward, thus allowing easy movement of air while inhaling and exhaling. Also, it prevents the roof of the throat from collapsing. If the condition is severe, we may suggest a CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This is a device that provides a continuous supply of oxygen to the lungs through a pressurized oxygen cylinder and a comfortably fitting face mask.
Please get in touch with us through online consultation or by calling us at (205) 875-4650, and we'll guide you further.