Do you routinely feel tired during the day, even after going to bed early the night before? Have others noticed that you seem stressed or moody? All three of these are signs that you may be struggling with interrupted sleep as a result of sleep apnea.
Patients with this underdiagnosed condition stop breathing for 10 or more seconds during sleep. As a result, the brain sends out a signal waking them up to take a breath. Not every sleep apnea patient will wake up all the way, though; some only move to a lighter stage of sleep, which explains how a sleep apnea patient may be unaware of his or her problem.
In many cases, sleep apnea is caused by obstruction. This type is known specifically as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, or OSAS. What causes the obstruction? The most common causes include the size of the patient’s airway passages, swelling, and the position of the tongue.
After the sleep apnea patient has returned to sleep, the cycle of sleeping and waking will continue throughout the night, leading to the drowsiness, stress, and moodiness we mentioned above. Sleep apnea can also make it difficult to concentrate and cause memory loss or accidents at home, work, or behind the wheel. If left untreated, it may also cause high blood pressure, heart problems, and premature death.
But thankfully, sleep apnea is treatable. As a locally and internationally recognized dentist, Dr. Gary M. Radz can provide effective relief at his Denver dental office. CPAP is a common and universally recognized treatment, but custom-made oral sleep appliances are quickly becoming the new standard for care.
Are you worried that you might be struggling with sleep apnea? Dr. Radz of Denver can help. Call us today for an appointment. We serve patients from Inglewood, Aurora, Lakewood, Greenwood Village, Centennial, and all surrounding areas.