Sleep Apnea: What are the symptoms?

Sleep Apnea: What are the symptoms?

Do you wake up drowsy even after you’ve slept eight hours (or more) and continue to feel less than rested throughout the day? Does your partner complain about loud, excessive snoring? Do you frequently suffer from morning headaches or a dry or sore throat upon waking?

You may have sleep apnea, a condition in which a person repeatedly stops breathing for brief periods of time during sleep.

Sleep apnea develops when the soft tissues at the rear of the throat collapse during sleep and cover up the opening to the airway. When this happens, the airway is cut off and the person temporarily stops breathing. This reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain, which can have a host of wide-ranging effects.

An oral surgeon can treat sleep apnea by fitting the patient with a custom-designed mouthguard that positions the jaw or tongue in a way that prevents the periodic airway obstructions. Many patients respond to this conservative treatment approach.

Some patients may not get relief from the mouthguards, and these individuals may need to turn to a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine or to a surgical intervention that repositions the jaw or removes excess soft tissue.

Before seeking oral surgery treatment for sleep apnea, patients must undergo a sleep study to confirm your diagnosis. Treatments for obstructive sleep apnea will be ineffective if another condition is causing your symptoms.

Sleep apnea has a significant impact on your quality of life but an even bigger impact on your physical health. This condition has been linked to other systemic issues like heart disease, high blood pressure and depression. It’s essential to get treatment for sleep apnea.

You don’t have to suffer from the adverse effects of sleep apnea. If you’ve noticed some of the condition’s symptoms, be evaluated to determine if you have sleep apnea. After you have a confirmed diagnosis, consult with our skilled team at Great River OMS to learn about effective treatment options.