Do you frequently wake up in the middle of the night, not because of your own struggles sleeping but because of your loved one’s loud snoring? Snoring can be a nuisance for an entire family, particularly while traveling or in tight quarters. Unfortunately, it can also be indication of a much bigger problem, namely Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea is a common condition, one that affects millions of adults. Not only can it negatively impact one’s sleep; it can also lead to a variety of medical concerns, such as increased blood pressure, problems concentrating which can make driving safely or working effectively feel difficult, and even depression. If you suspect your significant other could be struggling with sleep apnea, though, there is hope. In fact, the two of you might be extremely relived to learn that your dentist might actually be able to help treat the OSA quickly and effectively!
Know the Warning Signs of This Dangerous Sleeping Disorder
One important way you can help any loved ones that might be struggling with sleep apnea, or yourself as well, is by knowing the various symptoms commonly associated with OSA. Loud snoring is just one of the warning signs that someone could be affected by OSA. Other common signals include headaches, particularly in the morning, irritability, problems concentrating or a general sense of fatigue, depression, increased blood pressure. In some cases, people even consciously awake during the night due to the sound of their own snoring, or the experience of gasping for breath.
A Dentist Could Help Treat the Symptoms and Stop the Snoring!
Since OSA is caused when soft tissues block the airway, one way dentists can often help address and treat OSA is through the use of a sleep appliance which helps to keep the soft tissues in the mouth clear of the passageway during the night, as one sleeps. This custom sleep appliance is similar to a mouthguard worn during orthodontic treatment, or even to treat TMJ, which makes adjustment simple for many patients, particularly those who have worn mouthguards in the past. It is also far less intrusive than many alternatives, including the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machines that doctors often recommend for treating OSA.