Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects an individual’s ability to achieve enough rest during sleep. What makes sleep apnea dangerous is that it happens while a patient is unconscious, leaving the patient oblivious to symptoms in the first place. Here are a few signs to watch for that may indicate that a patient may have sleep apnea.
Feeling daytime fatigue
Patients with sleep apnea lack bedtime rest, which translates to an excessively tired morning and decrease in daytime energy. Since sleep apnea prevents an individual from reaching the REM cycle of sleep, patients have difficulty recovering from activities from the previous day.
Headaches can be a sign of the brain not receiving enough oxygen while asleep, which is a side effect of being unable to breathe regularly. When a patient wakes up lacking oxygen, he or she can experience migraines and pressure on both sides of the head for anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour.
Snoring is a sign of blockage in the air passage way while breathing, which can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If a person regularly snores loudly, it can be because the soft tissue of the throat has over-relaxed, the jaw is in misalignment, or because there is something else causing a blockage in normal breathing.
Frequent Interruptions during Sleep
If you find yourself frequently getting up at in the middle of the night for an unknown reason, it may be your body responding to an abnormality that is caused during sleep. Waking up suddenly and short of breath can be a direct sign of failing to receive enough oxygen while unconscious.
How Do I Find Treatment?
Sleep apnea is entirely treatable. Visit a doctor for an examination to determine the severity of your symptoms. Your sleep physician can administer any number of procedures or appliances, such as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, a mouthpiece, or surgery, to ensure each patient’s unique cause for sleep apnea is addressed. Our Santa Barbara dentist can also assist by providing mouth guard-like oral appliances for minor sleep apnea cases.
Find out more about sleep apnea by calling our practice in Santa Barbara, CA. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Heath Montgomery to determine whether you have sleep apnea.