Living With Sleep Apnea: What You Can Expect
People experiencing sleep apnea suffer from snoring led by pauses in their breathing and gasping throughout the night. However, one must note that not all people affected with sleep apnea snore.
Breathing problems caused by obstructive sleep apnea may prevent individuals from having a full night of sleep, which leads to:
- Daytime fatigue and sleepiness
- Morning headaches
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry mouth
- A sore throat
- Night sweating
Despite all these symptoms, individuals may still have a hard time completely understanding the cause of their fatigue. While sleep apnea is difficult to self-diagnose, habits in your sleep such as restlessness, loud snoring, and choking may be noticed by your partner or family member.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
While there is no single cause of the breathing disorder, certain behavioral and health factors can increase your risk of developing this condition. However, many risk factors are related to being overweight or obesity as well as genetic predisposition.
Obstructive sleep apnea may also be due to a person’s body type. An individual with a larger neck size may have a higher risk of developing OSA such as men with a neck size of 17 inches and women with a neck size of 16 inches. Larger necks are made up of more soft tissue which means that their airway may be more easily blocked, causing sleep apnea. Likewise, patients with enlarged tonsils or severe bite malocclusion are at an increased risk of developing OSA.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that may not always be prevented. Sleep apnea is a hereditary condition, meaning that a person may be more prone to have the sleep disorder if someone in their family has it. Other factors that may play a role in sleep apnea are age, being male, and menopause.
Why Snoring and Sleep Apnea Are Dangerous
Unfortunately, sleep apnea has long-term effects if not treated in time. Some of those long-term effects include a higher risk of depression, stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
At Progressive Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. McCoy does not neglect screening for sleep apnea when patients express concerns or symptoms of a sleep disorder. Instead, each patient is evaluated and cared for in a comfortable environment. Bringing along your medical history can help ensure you get the right care when you need it.
If you believe you may be experiencing sleep apnea symptoms call Dr. McCoy today!