Does your partner complain that your snoring wakes them up at night? Often, this complaint is the loudest, most obvious symptom of a bigger, more complex condition than snoring alone. Sleep apnea affects many people around the world and, if left untreated, can cause some serious health issues. Learn more about sleep apnea and its treatments in the Chesapeake, VA area with Dr. Paul LeTellier at Chesapeake Family and Implant Dentistry.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea has two varieties: obtrusive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). Sleep apnea patients can have a combination of the two types, known as complex sleep apnea, though most patients suffer from the OSA classification. OSA sleep apnea occurs due to an obstruction of the airway. Cases in which the signals from the nerve to the brain which instruct your body to breathe are compromised or do not exist at all are considered CSA.
Do I have sleep apnea?
The symptoms of sleep apnea are often most apparent to your bed partner. Sleep apnea commonly presents itself as the following symptoms:
- excessive snoring
- gasping for breath during sleep
- apneas (pauses in breathing during sleep)
- daytime sleepiness
- dry mouth
- waking suddenly with shortness of breath
If your bed partner tells you that you exhibit these symptoms, take them seriously. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems and, in severe cases, even death. Your dentist at Chesapeake Family and Implant Dentistry can help you determine if you suffer from sleep apnea and, if so, help you find the best possible treatment option for you.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Chesapeake, VA
The most widely used and effective treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. A CPAP machine sends a steady stream of air through the airway to keep it from collapsing and causing an apnea. Many patients have reported that the machine, worn over the nose and mouth every night while sleeping, provides instant results and decreases the severity of their symptoms during the first use. Lifestyle changes like losing weight or trying new sleeping positions may help mild cases of sleep apnea. Other treatments, like dental devices which align the mouth and jaw, can also help sleep apnea patients get a better night’s sleep.
For more information on sleep apnea or if you believe you suffer from this condition, please contact Dr. LeTellier at Chesapeake Family and Implant Dentistry in Chesapeake, VA. Call (757) 436-0026 to schedule your appointment with Dr. LeTellier today!