You May Have Sleep Apnea and Not Know It

Oct 14, 2022
You May Have Sleep Apnea and Not Know It
Sleep apnea affects your sleep quality and is potentially dangerous. There are three types you might not even know you have. If you're dealing with sleep apnea, find out how we can help.

Getting the proper amount of rest can seem like a minor concern with so much going on while you’re awake, but it is vital to your health. Nearly half of people in the U.S. complain of feeling fatigued during the day up to 3 times a week, and 35.2% of all adults get less than 7 hours of rest nightly. 

Several sleep disorders can contribute to getting less sleep, and sleep apnea is a common one, affecting 25% of men and about 10% of women. You may not even be aware you have this disorder. 

If you think you may have sleep apnea and live in the Frisco, Texas area, Dr. Alecia Hardy and our skilled team at Frisco Dental Implant Center can help. To start, we’ve put together this post examining what sleep apnea is, its causes and symptoms, and how we can treat it.

Understanding sleep apnea

This condition causes you to stop and start breathing repeatedly during your sleep cycle. It is caused by different factors, depending on which of these types of apnea you’re dealing with:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea: the most common form of this disorder which results from the relaxing of your throat muscles during sleep
  • Central sleep apnea: a less common type where your brain fails to transmit signals to your breathing muscles
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome: also called treatment emergent central sleep apnea, this is a combination of both other types of this condition

The resulting lack of proper sleep results in excess fatigue during the day and snoring loudly at night. The lack of air from this condition lowers the oxygen in your blood, which can lead to hypertension, cardiovascular problems, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.

Causes and symptoms

Several factors contribute to sleep apnea, including obesity, a thick neck, a narrow airway, family history, smoking, nasal congestion, certain medical conditions, and using tranquilizers, sedatives, or alcohol. Being male and older also increases risks. Central sleep apnea can also be caused by heart disorders, stroke, and opioid use. 

Aside from daytime fatigue and snoring, there are many other sleep apnea symptoms, such as gasping for air while sleeping, waking up with dry mouth, morning headache, insomnia, hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness), irritability, and difficulty focusing.

How we can help

While the common method for treating obstructive sleep apnea is a device called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, people can have a difficult time adjusting to the mask or tolerating forced air to help with breathing. People with mild to moderate sleep apnea can instead use an oral mandibular device that keeps the tongue from blocking your airway and advances the lower jaw.

Once we’ve determined whether or not you’re a good candidate to use this device, you can enjoy a number of benefits, including improvement of symptoms and a device that’s convenient for travel, uses no electricity, and makes no noise.

If your symptoms match up with those listed in this post, we can help. Make an appointment with Dr. Hardy and Frisco Dental Implant Center today so you can find a better way to sleep.