Sleep Apnea: Are There Health Risks?

Sleep Apnea: Are There Health Risks?

sleep apnea DubuqueDo you feel fatigued and groggy even after a full eight hours of sleep? Perhaps you wake up with dry mouth and a headache. These are normally signs of sleep apnea, a common disorder that impedes a patient’s ability to achieve proper rest. Once a sleep study is conducted and a patient has been diagnosed with sleep apnea by one of our oral surgeons, a team will develop a treatment plan that meets his or her unique needs. It is important to treat obstructive sleep apnea because it can affect overall health and wellbeing. Our team offers insight.

What is sleep apnea and how does it affect health?

Sleep apnea means that a patient ceases breathing during rest because airways are obstructed. When apnea occurs, the body will send signals to wake up so that a patient can reinitiate the breathing cycle. The cycle of apnea and slight waking occurs many times throughout the night and prevents a patient from the natural progression through the stages of sleep. Over time, it will cause sleep deprivation, memory loss, and may contribute to cardiovascular problems and low oxygen levels.

What causes sleep apnea?

A number of factors may cause the cessation of breath during sleep. Developmental and congenital abnormalities in the throat, nose, and mouth can obstruct airways. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, and drinking contribute to apnea during sleep. Patients with malocclusions (misaligned bites) might also require sleep apnea treatment.[pullquote]Lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, and drinking contribute to apnea during sleep.[/pullquote]

How is sleep apnea treated?

Treatment for sleep apnea depends on its cause. For example, some patients’ symptoms can improve by losing weight and stopping smoking. However, for patients with abnormalities such as bulky oral tissue or nasal deformities that obstruct airways, surgery is a permanent and effective solution. Patients with apnea caused by malocclusions may benefit from orthodontics and orthognathic surgery as well.

If you have symptoms of sleep apnea or have been diagnosed with this sleep disorder, our oral surgeons invite you to schedule a consultation at our practice. After an examination, our team can determine the best form of treatment to help you get the rest and quality of life you deserve.

Call Great River Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery today to schedule an appointment.