Snoring is considered by many as a natural occurrence during sleep. Unless someone complains of your loud snores, the need to see a doctor is often the last thing on your mind. However, snoring can be more serious than it seems to be. It is one of the signs of sleep apnea, a sleeping condition wherein breathing lapses occur during sleep. A person who has sleep apnea receives less oxygen while sleeping, resulting to a variety of problems. These problems range from poor mental alertness, daytime sleepiness and mood swings, to serious illnesses like heart disease and stroke. Therefore, it is important to distinguish simple snoring from the more serious sleep apnea.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Since sleep apnea occurs during sleep, this condition is hard to detect, most especially if you sleep alone. Here are several signs of sleep apnea to help you identify this disorder.
- Daytime sleepiness – The kind of drowsiness that you will feel is distinctly different than normal tiredness. You may find yourself dozing off in the middle of boring meetings, or even fall asleep while driving your car. Since sleep apnea affects the quality of your sleep, you will find yourself fighting sleepiness many times during the day and may even fall asleep when you’re inactive.
- Poor mental alertness – This is a natural progression for someone who experiences poor quality of sleep on a regular basis. Sleep apnea patients find it hard to focus at work or at school.
- Mood Swings – Quality of sleep greatly affects our mood and sense of well being. Since sleep apnea patients are unable to get a good night’s rest, they often feel depressed and are easily irritated over little things. Changes in mood and behavioral patterns are one way to tell if you are suffering from sleep apnea.
- Loud Snoring – The snores of sleep apnea patients are very loud. So loud that they can be heard through walls.
- Frequent Night Awakenings – If you often find yourself waking up gasping for breath, then chances are high that you have sleep apnea. What you can do is to keep a sleep diary that records the number of times you you’ve awaken catching your breath. You can take this diary to the doctor.
- Morning headaches – People with sleep apnea have been known to experience headaches and frequent migraines during the day. While this is not seen as a major health threat, frequently experiencing headaches can affect your mood, concentration, and overall personality.
- Dryness in the mouth upon waking up – This is a result of getting insufficient oxygen during sleep.
An Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment
Snoring and sleep apnea often occur because of an obstruction to the airways. The obstruction can be in the form of an allergy or improper positioning of the tongue during sleep. This can be addressed with the use of an oral appliance. This appliance clears the pathway for air to flow freely, allowing the patient to get the right amount of oxygen during sleep. Oral appliance therapy is considered by many doctors and health professionals around the world as a comfortable, non-invasive, effective remedy for sleep apnea. For sleep apnea treatment in Kissimmee, FL, visit us at Parkway Dental Care. We are your trusted specialists for sleep apnea and many other dental concerns.