Asheville area dentist answers, what are the signs of sleep apnea?
There are many sleeping disorders that patients in the Asheville area may develop over time, and one of them is obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea affects millions of Americans every year, and so many of these individuals go undiagnosed. The condition is caused by a blockage in the airways at night when patients sleep. It can keep them from reaching the restorative level of sleep needed to feel rested and awake during the day. Patients with untreated sleep apnea may experience depression, anxiety, daytime tiredness, less concentration, and reduced memory. All of these can be linked to obstructive sleep apnea.
Many patients in the Asheville area ask, what are the signs of sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is better diagnosed during the night by a sleeping partner or physician who can analyze sleeping patterns. Many bed partners will notice issues such as:
- Periods of paused breathing
- Patient waking repeatedly throughout the night
When patients are dealing with sleep apnea, they may have daytime symptoms that may also be noticeable by themselves and others, including:
- Daytime tiredness and fatigue
- Inability to concentrate
- Anxiety and depression
- Sexual dysfunction
- Morning headaches
- Dry or sore mouth and throat in the morning
- Difficulty getting up and ready in the morning
When patients have undergone a sleep study to determine if they have obstructive sleep apnea, they can get answers from a qualified physician. Once an appropriate diagnosis has been made, patients can then work with their physician to determine the most effective treatment. The first line of defense against sleep apnea is often the CPAP machine. This device uses air to keep the mouth and nose open and allow patients to breathe during the night. Unfortunately, CPAP machines can be uncomfortable and cumbersome causing many patients to stop using them. Patients who visit their dentist will find that oral appliance therapy may also be a viable solution for them. Oral appliance therapy uses a special plastic mouth guard that can accomplish the same goal as a CPAP machine with better comfort and compliance. Oral appliances are available through the Asheville Smile Center with the help of Dr. Christopher Port and his dedicated team of professionals.