Studies show that at least 22 million people in the United States currently suffer from some form of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a serious disorder linked to poor rest and an increased risk of health problems. But why do some of us develop this disorder, but others do not? How do we know if we need treatment? In today’s blog, your Spring, TX, dentists will discuss the causes of sleep apnea!
Risks of OSA
The risk factors for sleep apnea vary. While the disorder can impact people in their teen and adult years of both genders, men above the age of 55 tend to be particularly at risk. Other factors include obesity, throat circumference, issues with oral structures or tonsils blocking airflow, and sinuses and allergy problems. A deviated septum could also lead to the disorder. Excessive alcohol consumption, sleeping on your back, and maintaining an irregular sleep schedule could make the onset of OSA more likely as well. A sleep apnea episode means airflow is completely blocked by soft tissues in the back of the mouth and in the throat. The person stops breathing for a brief moment until the brain, registering the lack of oxygen, wakes him or her. Sufferers rarely remember being woken, and this process can occur hundreds of times in a single night.
When to Make an Appointment
If you notice that you wake with dry mouth, feel exhausted in the day despite resting the night before, and encounter frequent moodiness and trouble concentrating, then you should consider scheduling an appointment. Other warning signs may include waking suddenly in the night choking or gasping for air! Don’t ignore these potential warning signs, let us perform a thorough diagnosis to see if you benefit from treatment.
The Home Sleep Test
Don’t worry, you won’t need to try and rest in an uncomfortable lab setting for us to assess your risk. Instead, we will send you home with a small device that remains at your bedside. You rest in your own bed, and the device will take notice of drops in oxygen levels, your breathing exertion, and any apneic episodes. When we look at the results, we can see if you benefit from treatment or not. For some, simple lifestyle changes to sleeping habits could help. Others may need a custom oral appliance, which is worn at night like a mouthguard and helps ensure airways remain open throughout the night. If you have any questions, then please contact our team today.
Do You Need a Diagnosis?
Our team would love to help you enjoy a better night’s rest with a custom-made sleep apnea solution. To learn more about diagnosing and treating common sleep problems, call Houston Sleep Solutions in Spring, TX, at (281) 320-2000, or in Pearland, TX, at (832) 564-3508.