When you’ve had a bad night’s sleep, it impacts your entire life. Suddenly, you can be more irritable, more forgetful, and more tired throughout the day. And if you snore loudly, your partner can struggle to have sound sleep too. Now imagine that this happens all the time! If you experience this, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans have a serious condition called sleep apnea that interferes with the ability to sleep peacefully. Luckily, at EMA Dental, we have the tools and training to bring you some much needed relief from your sleep apnea symptoms.
So what is sleep apnea? It’s a condition in which breathing continually ceases for more than ten seconds during sleep. The brain sends out a stress signal to your body to wake up just enough to start breathing again. Occurring up to thirty times every hour, these lapses in breathing prevent your brain from achieving deep, restful sleep, causing you to feel more fatigued upon waking. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea where your neck and facial tissues relax too much and block the airways.
If you have the following symptoms, you may have sleep apnea:
To know for sure whether you do or don’t have sleep apnea, you need to have a sleep study to be officially diagnosed. We can recommend a sleep center where you can get a clear answer for your sleep problem, and then you can begin treatment.
At first glance the signs of sleep apnea may seem like just small annoyances, and you may think you can simply “tough it out.” However, sleep apnea can have serious consequences for your health and safety if it’s left untreated. For example, did you know that driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated? Also, when your body receives the stress signal from your brain, it triggers a spike in your blood pressure. With so many occurrences per night, your blood pressure eventually becomes accustomed to remaining high even when you’re awake, increasing your risk of getting heart disease and experiencing an event like a heart attack or stroke. These are just a couple of examples of the havoc sleep apnea can wreak in your quality of life. By seeking necessary treatment, you can improve your overall health as well as enjoy a good night of rest.
Sometimes traditional CPAP therapy can alleviate sleep apnea for patients, but in many cases, they find that the machine disrupts their sleep more than the actual sleep apnea itself. As an alternative, the specialists at our Northampton office offer a more conservative treatment using a custom oral appliance that shifts your lower jaw forward, keeping the tissue from obstructing the airways. That way, you are able to reach and stay in a healthier sleep cycle throughout the night.
Restful sleep is possible! You don’t have to tolerate bad days that result from bad nights, so don’t wait to get on the path to better rest. If you have questions about sleep apnea, we will gladly address your concerns and help you and your partner get the sleep you both need for better quality of life. Contact our Northampton office today!