This is a relatively common condition that many of us might suffer from, but not all of us are aware of this problem. This form of sleep apnea commonly affects those who are overweight or obese, and it is found to affect those who are in their middle age and above. Having this condition is not very apparent to many people who suffer from it mainly because it happens during their sleep. Its symptoms are also very vague and they are mostly masked, but this does not mean that it is an insignificant and unimportant condition to seek medical attention for.
By medical attention, it is important for you to consult a doctor to carry out a sleep test for you to be diagnosed with the condition itself. However, if you want to see improvement from your symptoms, then you would need to take appropriate treatment. Here is some information about the medical condition you should be aware of.
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
As mentioned, obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that can affect those in the higher weight range. The name itself explains what went wrong in order to cause the condition. When we lie down to sleep, normally our tongue is contained in the oral cavity and does not obstruct our pathway to breathe normally even while going into deep sleep. However, in obstructive sleep apnea, the tongue loses its tone and flops backward to obstruct the breathing pathway. This results in apnea, which basically means no breathing. This apneic state prolongs for a few seconds then you would naturally change position to unblock the obstruction subconsciously to take a large gasp of air again.
Such apneic episodes can occur for a few times ever hour, which reduces the oxygen supply to your body and brain, thus making you very lethargic and tired the next day. Such episodes can also increase your blood pressure and heart rate because the rest of your body is fighting hard to provide oxygen to your body despite the lack of intake through paused breathing. Such changes put a lot of pressure on your heart and your blood system, causing many problems later on.
How to know if you have obstructive sleep apnea
The main symptoms you’d get if you have obstructive sleep apnea are lethargy and tiredness. But many people brush this off lightly as these symptoms are common in simply all of us who work or study. It might perhaps be a better gauge to rest yourself for a few days and see if these symptoms persist, especially if you are more on the heavier side. Another thing is snoring problems. If your spouse informs you that you have been snoring excessively, regardless of any sleeping position, it could be a sign.
What can you do?
Heading to a dentist if you are suspected to have obstructive sleep apnea can also help kick start for you your treatment cycle. Major dental clinics have links with sleep physicians who can tie in and work together with your dentists to tailor your treatment regimen for you. They would even be able to set you up on the right contacts to get your sleep study done for a valid diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, so we would suggest you to head to your dentist straight if you suspect yourself having this condition.
Dentists are also the ones who can perform the actual treatment plan for you to alleviate your symptoms. They would be able to perform minor surgeries to help you with your anatomy which causes snoring, supply you with equipment which are anti-snoring in nature and also suggest you to try breathing devices which employ various mechanisms like CPAP to curb the snoring.
Obstructive sleep apnea has a lot of psychological, emotional and medical problems associated with it as mentioned above, so if you think you have any of the symptoms that point to obstructive sleep apnea and are looking for a Franklin dentist, book for an appointment with us today. Dr Saadi from our Arcadia Dental Clinic is the only Harvard trained specialist for sleep dentistry in the whole of the Boston Metro West area, so you will definitely be in right hands!