July 3, 2019
Sleep apnea in Owings Mills affects millions of Americans, resulting in chronic fatigue and worsening health conditions. When your body is deprived of sleep, not only will you feel like a zombie, but you’ll notice your negative attitude toward others, as well as your inability to stay focused on pretty much anything you must do. Unfortunately, many people don’t even realize they have sleep apnea because the symptoms can mask themselves as causes for other types of conditions. To find out if this common sleep condition is keeping you from getting the rest you need, here are the symptoms to look for and how you can go about treating it.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing for 10 seconds or more each night because of a blocked airway. You need enough oxygen to flow through your body and brain for everything to function correctly; however, when your airway becomes blocked as a result of your tongue and soft palate collapsing on your throat, this makes it difficult, if not almost impossible, to breathe.
What Are the Symptoms?
One of the most common symptoms associated with sleep apnea is snoring. Now, if you don’t have a partner who can tell you that you snore or stop breathing throughout the night, you might go years without realizing you have sleep apnea. Luckily, there are other ways you can tell if you might be struggling with this condition.
Before driving to your dentist in Owings Mills, here are some signs to watch for with regard to sleep apnea:
- Chronic snoring
- Morning headaches
- Daytime drowsiness
- Loss of libido
- Irritability or mood swings
- Forgetfulness or memory loss
- Gasping or choking for air while you sleep
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
How Can it Be Treated?
In the past, CPAP therapy used to be the only form of treatment for sleep apnea. This effective method does help certain individuals get the rest they need, but for many, the bulkiness of the device and difficulty maneuvering the machine and its many plugs and straps make it hard for others to continue with treatment.
Nowadays, more and more dentists are turning to oral appliance therapy to treat patients suffering from sleep apnea. These small, compact, and portable devices are worn in the mouth while you sleep. They gently shift the jaw forward, making it possible to keep your airway open during the night.
Oral appliance therapy is a superior treatment solution for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, so if you think you might be at risk for developing this common sleep disorder, talk to your dentist about getting tested and what you can do for treatment.
About the Author
Dr. Monica Mattson, DDS, earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She then attended Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, earning her DDS. In 1995, she was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy and completed a General Practice Residency in Dentistry at the Naval Hospital of Camp Pendleton, CA. Dr. Mattson and her team believe patients should be getting the rest they need to function at top speed each day. When you’re drowsy, you’re less likely to want to take care of your oral hygiene, so if you feel you aren’t getting the sleep you need, Dr. Mattson can help by providing treatment options for sleep apnea. To learn more, contact us at (443) 394-2273.
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