An often overlooked, yet very serious, medical condition is that of sleep apnea. This condition affects millions of people, and it causes a person to experience serious breathing issues while they are asleep. Sleep apnea is often detected by loud, frequent snoring that occurs while a person is asleep. Although sometimes loud snoring is nothing to worry about, it could be a sign of something more serious. There’s a possibility that the snoring is caused by the person choking and struggling for air while they are asleep.
A person who is suffering from sleep apnea will experience frequent pauses in breathing during their sleep cycle. In a relatively mild case of sleep apnea, the pauses in breathing may last just a few seconds. But if the condition is severe, the pauses in breath can last for up to a minute or even longer. This issue can cause major disruptions to the individual’s sleeping cycle, and it can prevent them from feeling properly rested. When the breathing does resume, a loud choking or snoring sound will be produced by the individual. This is typically the telltale sign that a person is suffering from sleep apnea.
Some of the signs that sleep apnea may be an issue include:
- Excessive snoring
- Abrupt awakenings
- Shortness in breath
- Dry mouth
- Frequent sore throats
- Recurring headaches
- Poor sleeping patterns
- Tiredness and irritability
If sleep apnea is left untreated, some serious medical problems can occur as a result. These can be life-threatening, so it is very important to seek out treatment for the condition as early as possible. Some of the health concerns associated with sleep apnea include high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, problems with metabolism and liver damage. When sleep apnea is treated quickly enough, these issues become much less likely to occur.
One of the most effective treatment methods for sleep apnea is wearing a custom-fitted oral appliance. Worn while sleeping, this type of device will adjust the positioning of the jaw so that proper breathing is promoted. By wearing one of these devices on a nightly basis, a patient has a great likelihood of overcoming sleep apnea and eliminating the associated problems.
If you believe that you may be experiencing sleep apnea, seeking treatment early on is very important. We will work to help you overcome the condition so that you can get the good night of sleep that you deserve. Please call us at 630-454-8166 to schedule an appointment.