Snoring and sleep apnea are two conditions encompassed in Sleep Disordered Breathing. There are similarities in snoring and sleep apnea. Each has the power to disrupt the sleep of the snorer as well as those nearby. Both snoring and sleep apnea can lead to fatigue. These similarities are limited compared to the vast differences in these two conditions. Recognizing them is the key to restored health.
Obstructive sleep apnea, which can often be mistaken for chronic snoring, is actually a serious sleep disorder that requires treatment to stop progression. This condition carries serious health hazards if not properly treated, which is why we encourage patients to discuss their sleep concerns with us during routine dental check-ups.
It is thought that less than half of all sleep apnea cases are diagnosed. This is because the signs of this condition can easily be attributed to other factors. Some of the common signs of this sleep disorder include:
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Fitful sleep
- Choking or gasping sounds
- Extreme daytime sleepiness, chronic fatigue
- Morning headaches or sore throat
- Swelling in the feet or legs
- Problems with short-term memory
- Inability to focus or retain information
- Poor judgment
- Hyperactivity, worsening of ADHD symptoms
Each of the signs of obstructive sleep apnea could be mistaken for a variety of other medical conditions. In fact, many children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder are simply severely sleep deprived.
Different from snoring, obstructive sleep apnea actually involves a pause in breathing. Hundreds of pauses could occur in a night. As airflow is blocked by relaxed muscles, the brain is shorted of necessary oxygen. Heart rate increases, and blood pressure rises, similar to a spike in adrenaline. Messages are sent from the distressed brain to rouse sleep enough to resume breathing. During each apneic episode, the body is put under excessive, undue stress, which can have cumulative effect over time.
Seeking sleep apnea treatments in Kansas City is important to sustained health. Untreated sleep apnea is linked to several health conditions, including:
- Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Stroke (the risk is increased tenfold from sleep apnea)
- Chronic fatigue
- Sexual dysfunction
- Clinical depression
Dr. Adjemian has been successfully treating sleep apnea with comfortable, effective oral appliance therapy for years. Don’t let a lack of sleep impact your health. Contact us to learn more about sleep apnea today.
Kansas City residents know and love diversity. As your Gladstone Dentist, we appreciate that no two patients–no two people are completely alike and their health care needs are also unique. Those needs are always changing and evolving, much as you are.