What Everyone Should Know About Sleep Apnea

What Everyone Should Know About Sleep Apnea

Millions of Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a condition characterized by constant breathing interruptions while a person is asleep. Unfortunately, many of the people who have this condition are not even aware that they have it, and it is difficult to diagnose unless a physician is specifically looking for it. If you believe that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact your family dentist in Houston so that you can be tested for the condition. Here are some facts that everybody should know about this common sleep disorder.

What causes sleep apnea? In rare cases, sleep apnea can be caused by a brain-related respiratory problem, but in most cases, sleep apnea is caused by obstruction of the airways. This may be caused by any number of factors, including obesity, having a large tongue or tonsils, having small airways, or suffering from chronic nasal congestion.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea? The most obvious sign of sleep apnea is loud, persistent snoring. Sometimes a person with sleep apnea will seem to be gasping for breath while he or she is asleep. Since sleep apnea interferes with the quality of your sleep, another symptom can be chronic fatigue throughout the day. Other possible warning signs of sleep apnea include headaches, moodiness, and dryness or soreness in the throat.

Is sleep apnea dangerous? Along with harming the quality of your nightly rest, sleep apnea can raise your risk of a number of serious health problems, including stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure. It can also increase your chances of irregular heartbeats. Sleep apnea can make it more difficult for you to focus on work or school, and it can make you more likely to get into car accidents.

Can sleep apnea be treated? Fortunately, there is help for people who suffer from sleep apnea. Once the condition has been diagnosed, there are several options available for treatment. The most common solution is a dental appliance that you can wear to keep your airways open while you sleep. If you have any questions about treatment for sleep apnea, ask your dentist.

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