The Dangers and Remedies of Sleep Apnea – Oftentimes a spouse or partner may notice something is not quite right with their significant other, whether physically, emotionally, or mentally. The spouse or partner may even notice prior to their loved one noticing. Sometimes it is easier to identify problems or issues when viewing from a couple of steps back.
If you’ve ever seen or heard a loved one sleeping, you may notice certain characteristics of their sleep behavior. They may sleep on their side, or they may sleep on their back. Your loved one could be someone who sleeps on their stomach, sleepwalks, talks in their sleep, or someone who wears a mask or ear plugs. But they also may snore, or even appear to stop breathing.
These can be very serious situations that are a danger to your loved one’s health and well-being. Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing stops and starts during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type. It occurs in men more than women. Obstructive sleep apnea will lead to a lack of oxygen for that individual. They then may feel lethargic or even exhausted after a night’s sleep. Snoring isn’t always a sign of sleep apnea nor is it automatically a sign of something serious, but consultation should be scheduled if breathing appears labored or intermittent.
Another major symptom of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring. The muscles are intermittently relaxing and blocking the airway. Additionally, someone with sleep apnea may see a decrease in the quality of their overall health. A good night’s rest is one of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle. Without rest, people can become unfocused, irritable, and even depressed. Also, obstructive sleep apnea causes hypertension and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke in many cases.
Even if someone is only experiencing being unfocused or being lethargic, this could lead to a tragic car accident or other negative outcomes. Grosso Family Dentistry, in Carroll and Frederick Counties, helps to diagnose sleep apnea. Dr. Frank Grosso and Dr. Katie Grosso have a lot of experience treating this condition, which is being seen more and more frequently in the United States.
The risks of developing sleep apnea are exponentially greater for people suffering from obesity. This would tell us that losing weight would be one way to reduce risk. If you are already suffering from sleep apnea, however, Grosso Family Dentistry can provide a consultation. Some sleep specialists offer a CPAP treatment. This is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This machine gives a positive air stream through a mask.
It is continuous, so if the individual stops breathing it will still be providing oxygen. Drs. Grosso and Grosso may use an oral appliance to treat obstructive sleep apnea. This mouthpiece may hold the jaw in a forward position to help open the airway. It can be placed in the mouth when the individual is going to bed at night. These oral appliances are custom-made for each person and fit similarly to a retainer. In addition, there are repositioners used in the morning as well. Although Grosso Family Dentistry specializes in many, many things, they are certified to practice Dental Sleep Medicine. This is important if going to a dental practitioner for help with sleep.
Other behaviors can reduce risk as well. A healthy diet and regular exercise are two behaviors mentioned widely by dentists as having extremely positive benefits in preventing sleep apnea. And Drs. Grosso and Grosso will always consult with your physician or sleep specialist in recommending treatments or behavior changes. Periodic dental and periodontic check-ups are even more important with a diagnosis of sleep apnea. Also, from time to time maintenance may need to be performed on an oral appliance. It is an outstanding idea to be consulted by a professional if you or your loved one suspect obstructive sleep apnea.