A Guide to Having Sleep Apnea

If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), then you may or may not realize it. The condition can deprive you of necessary sleep by constantly interrupting your sleep breathing pattern, but it doesn’t usually wake you from consciousness during these interruptions. As a result, you may be losing sleep long before you start to realize that you may have sleep apnea. At our El Paso, TX, dental office, we may be able to help you treat sleep apnea and achieve the rest you need with a custom-designed sleep appliance. Today, we examine a few reasons why seeking treatment as soon as possible is important when dealing with sleep apnea, and what having the condition can mean on your quality of life.

The obstructive sleep disorder

  • You’ll stop breathing while you sleep – Sleep apnea means to stop breathing in your sleep, which is the condition’s main characteristic. It occurs when mouth and throat tissues collapse into your airway, obstructing your breathing more and more. At first, the obstruction causes you to snore due to the decreased space in your airway. Before long, the obstruction becomes complete and stops you from breathing altogether.
  • Everyone but you can hear your snoring – The snoring that results from sleep apnea is loud and often distinct. It grows louder as your airway becomes more obstructed, reaching excessively loud volumes before you stop breathing. In fact, the snoring can become so loud that many patients are prompted to seek a diagnosis and treatment by sleeping partners who can’t rest.
  • It interrupts your sleep just enough – Sleeping through the sound of your snoring may not be much of a surprise, but even the cessation of your breathing wont usually wake you up enough to notice. Your brain and body will panic after being deprived of oxygen long enough, and both will wake enough to clear your airway and start breathing again. However, you’ll remain unconscious and unaware of the fact that you’re unable to reach R.E.M. sleep.
  • Not treating it can have serious consequences – In addition to disrupting your partner’s sleep with loud snoring, sleep apnea also has several significant impacts on your overall health and wellbeing. The constant interruptions to your breathing making it harder for you to get enough oxygen while you sleep, which could have negative consequences for your cardiovascular health. The loss of deep sleep can result increasingly worse symptoms of sleep deprivation, including daytime fatigue.

Learn to treat your sleep apnea

Having sleep apnea means losing sleep in ways that you may not always be aware of. For more information on diagnosing and treating your sleep disorder, schedule a consultation by calling the Sunny Smiles dental office nearest you in El Paso, TX, today! We also have offices in Chaparral, Canutillo, and Vinton so we can easily serve patients throughout all surrounding communities.