Sleep apnea is a common condition impacting millions of people, many of whom never know that they have the condition. If you constantly feel tired and worn out with no idea as to why then you may be suffering from sleep apnea. When most people think of a sleep disorder, they think of insomnia. Yes, this is a serious issue but even more serious is not being able to breathe when you are sleeping. Since most people would not be aware of their breathing difficulties at night, this condition often goes undiagnosed and untreated causing worsening health problems over time.
How sleep apnea can affect daily life
Sleep apnea is a condition where the airways become blocked during sleep and you cannot get enough oxygen as a result. There are several reasons that the airways can become blocked including swelling and excess skin. However, one of the more common reasons we see and treat is when the lower jaw slips backward at night. As it does, the process of the jaw moving backward and blocking the air passageway can have serious consequences.
One can end up spending the entire night gasping for breath and trying to get whatever oxygen is available. This will typically happen unbeknownst to the individual. Instead, the partner may notice the individual is having problems. It is common for those suffering from sleep apnea to have terrible snoring or to talk in their sleep, which is why it is often the partner who can help identify sleep apnea. Otherwise, the symptoms will not be felt until the morning fatigue hits and as one goes about the day.
Common sleep apnea symptoms
Many people suffering from sleep apnea also experience symptoms that include:
- Loud and persistent snoring
- Feeling fatigued and rundown, though otherwise healthy
- Falling asleep when doing mundane activities
- Not being able to drive long distances or at night without falling asleep
- Going to be after eating dinner and not being able to stay up as late as they used to
- Sluggish and sick feelings that don’t necessarily materialize into an illness
- Being grumpy or irritable overall
Essentially, if one has sleep apnea, then he or she is not getting enough oxygen while sleeping. In this case, the body is not getting the rest that it requires to recharge, remain healthy and rejuvenate. Any asthmatic will tell you that a lack of oxygen means a lack of energy and that this impacts everything.
Sleep apnea is a condition that can come on with age. Even when one displays no signs of it in youth, sleep apnea can develop later on. The important thing is to look for the symptoms regardless of how old is and seek treatment as soon as possible. Fortunately, we offer a customizable treatment method that will help relieve symptoms and improve the overall quality of life.
We treat sleep apnea using a variety of methods. First, we recommend starting with non-surgical solutions. For example, you can wear a night guard to bed that will help to hold your lower jaw in the forward position. This will prevent your tongue from blocking your airways. If you need further assistance, we can discuss next steps as well. To learn more, call and schedule an examination.
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