Your Guide to Understanding Sleep Apnea
Getting the best treatment for your sleep apnea symptoms begins with understanding your condition, and how it can harm your overall health. Unfortunately, many patients are unaware of their disorder and don’t seek treatment as a result. According to statistics, 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but 80% of moderate to severe cases are undiagnosed.
At our practice in Glen Mills, we emphasize early diagnosis and efficient treatment solutions to keep your condition under control. Explore our guide to learn all about sleep apnea and how it affects you.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type. In this form of the disorder, your throat muscles relax and your tongue collapses into your airway, obstructing your flow of oxygen.
Central sleep apnea describes when your brain fails to send the proper signals to your muscles that control breathing. Rather than struggling to breathe as with OSA, patients with this condition actually forget to breathe while they sleep.
Complex sleep apnea is a combination of the other two forms. For patients who are diagnosed with complex sleep apnea, the best method is to treat your condition as both obstructive and central until you find a practical solution that works.
How Sleep Apnea Affects You
Regardless of which form you suffer from, the effects of sleep apnea are consistent. It partially or totally blocks your airway throughout the night, causing you to wake up every time you stop breathing. This pattern can repeat anywhere from five to fifty times per hour, preventing you from enjoying the quality rest you need.
When you airway is blocked, it can also result in loud snoring or choking sounds overnight. If you share your bed with a partner, this can disrupt their sleep as well and form a rift in your relationship.
Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea
Without treatment, sleep apnea can result in major consequences for your overall health. Some of these include:
- Heart attacks/heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Chronic headaches
- Mood swings/irritability
- Short attention span/memory problems
In addition to everything listed above, sleep apnea impairs your ability to function normally on a daily basis. You’re more likely to zone out and make dangerous mistakes, like losing your focus while driving and causing a car accident.
Visit Dr. McCoy for Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to seek treatment. The longer you wait, the higher your risk will be for developing complications. At Progressive Dentistry, Sleep & Wellness, we emphasize practical, preventive care that isolates your symptoms and addresses them head-on.
Dr. McCoy has achieved Diplomate status with the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, an honor that can only be achieved by completing over 50 hours of continuing education and presenting at least five successful oral appliance cases, among other requirments.
Contact our practice in Glen Mills today and schedule a consultation with Dr. McCoy. Rest assured, we can help you sleep soundly through the night.