Sleep apnea is a condition that afflicts many people. It is a disorder that repeatedly interrupts sleep by causing normal breathing to stop for periods lasting up to, and occasionally passing, ten seconds. It occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to open the airway despite the efforts to breathe, and can also be caused by the failure of the brain to properly control breathing. Other manifestations of sleep apnea can be: extremely loud snoring; choking or gasping for breath; restless tossing and turning; headaches; swollen legs; sweating and chest pain. All of these situations are extremely dangerous.
Sleep apnea in children manifests itself in restlessness; fitful waking; sweating; open mouth breathing; bed wetting; slow growth; behavioural problems and short attention span. The results of sleep apnea in children can cause developmental delays as well as heart issues.
An underactive thyroid can also manifest many of the same symptoms as sleep apnea. These are medical issues that cannot be ignored and need to be addressed without delay.
The results of sleep apnea are conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and compromised memory function. It is also a known risk factor, in automobile crashes. It requires proactive attention on the part of the person suffering with sleep apnea, to get help from a health professional trained in assessing the extent of the problem and applying preventive strategies. There are options for dealing with sleep apnea, all of which are effective, but can only be determined by practitioners who have training in this field of medicine.
One of the easiest solutions to mild sleep apnea issues comes in the form of a dental device, much like a mouth guard in appearance. They are available in different forms, but essentially need to be fitted by a trained dentist to accomplish the end result you desire. Another method of treatment is the “continuous positive airway pressure” (CPAP) device that is worn at night for more severe instances of sleep apnea. The CPAP device delivers air through a mask which is worn over the nose and mouth, to keep airways open and is fitted by your sleep Physician.
If you or someone you know suffers sleep disorders, talk to our dentists at Laurier Dental for help today. We always recommend a thorough evaluation by a Sleep Physician prior to the fitting of any dental device.