Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder that requires treatment. Patients often present symptoms of sleep apnea that include loud snoring, insomnia, daytime fatigue, headaches, irritability, and gasping for air while sleeping. This condition can interfere with a patient’s quality of life and productivity, which is why it’s important to receive a proper diagnosis and sleep apnea treatment.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when a patient’s lungs do not get enough air. This is due to the relaxation of the muscles in the back of the throat. When the muscles relax, the airway closes or grows narrow when the patient inhales. Since the incoming air is limited, the patient’s blood oxygen level may decrease. When this happens, the brain interprets the difficulty in breathing and interrupts your sleep, so the airway is re-opened, and blood oxygen levels can return to normal.
Patients often don’t recall this cycle of sleep and waking up, but the effects can be detrimental in terms of sleep quality. Patients may snort, gasp, or even choke, which impairs their ability to achieve effective and refreshing rest. In turn, this creates daytime fatigue and sleepiness that can become excessive.
Thankfully, there are sleep apnea treatment options offered by our Whitby dental office. A sleep apnea machine, often referred to as a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure therapy machine), is a common treatment method. This device keeps the patient’s airway open so that it doesn’t collapse while breathing during sleep. CPAP for snoring is also common as a method of therapy.
If you suffer from sleep apnea in Whitby, make an appointment with our Whitby dentist as soon as possible. Though CPAP therapy and certain oral appliances alleviate its symptoms and effects, neither offers a sleep apnea cure. The only permanent solution for sleep apnea is weight loss or surgical procedures to remove excess tissue from the patient’s palate or throat. For more information about this sleep disorder and possible treatment options, contact our dental care team. We serve patients from Brooklin, Whitby, Ajax, Oshawa, and the surrounding areas.