Are you excessively sleepy during the day, even though you sleep at night? It could be caused by sleep apnea. When you sleep, the soft tissues in the back of your mouth relax. In some cases it can cause your airway to narrow enough that it vibrates as you breathe, which induces snoring. When the airway becomes completely blocked it results in pauses in breathing. These pauses can vary from a few seconds to several minutes and can happen up to 30 times in just one hour. Imagine that happening over and over again throughout the night.
Effects and Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Many patients don’t realize the deleterious effects that sleep apnea has on their health. Though it is often associated with constant fatigue and snoring, there are even more serious risks to your health that you need to be aware of. Aside from weight gain, it can lead to abnormal heart rhythms and high blood pressure. It can also complicate diabetes and can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke.
The treatment for sleep apnea can be as simple as a mandibular advancement appliance. Dr. Mavrostomos, a member of Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines, prefers to use the TAP appliance. This is fitted to your teeth and is designed to move your lower jaw forward slightly while you sleep, thereby opening up your airway. Once you’ve eliminated your airway obstruction, you’ll find you are getting a much more restful night’s sleep and will awake refreshed.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
- Choking in the night
- Gasping for breath or pauses in breathing while you sleep
- Daytime fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Nighttime or morning headaches
Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed because most of the symptoms happen during your sleeping hours. If you suspect you are suffering from sleep apnea, call our office for an appointment, or request a complimentary consultation with Dr. Mavrostomos where you’ll get to sit down with him for a few moments to ask any questions or discuss your case.