What’s Sleep Apnea?
Even though sleep apnea is often accompanied by loud snoring, they’re isolated conditions. Many patients confuse snoring with sleep apnea, but snoring is merely the sound produced by the vibration of tissue. Alternatively, sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that often requires professional treatment.
There are various reasons an adult or child might suffer from sleep apnea. Our bodies naturally relax while we sleep. This includes the soft tissue of your throat and your tongue muscles. When people suffer from sleep apnea, these areas become so relaxed that they block the airway, restricting airflow and causing snoring and pauses in breathing.
Dr. Katz works with our Greensboro patients to identify the warning signs of sleep apnea so they can get the treatment they deserve as fast as possible.
Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Heavy snoring is one of the most obvious symptoms of sleep apnea, but not everyone who snores will develop the condition. Dr. Katz will make sure you get the appropriate diagnosis. Even if your snoring isn’t a sign of sleep apnea, we provide a number of effective treatments that can help mitigate your snores. In fact, Dr. Katz has been treating sleep-related disorders since 1982.
Some of the common symptoms associated with sleep apnea are as follows:
- Loud snoring
- Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
- Morning headaches
- Forgetfulness and mood swings
- Decreased libido
- Drowsiness while driving
- Restless sleep
- Waking with a choking/gasping sensation
- Waking with a dry/sore throat
Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea
Critical health conditions associated with untreated sleep apnea include impaired cardiovascular and respiratory systems, weight gain, and increased diabetes-related complications.
Circulatory & Respiratory Systems
Your body uses your circulatory system to spread blood, and thus oxygen, to your organs. When you suffer from sleep apnea, oxygen in your bloodstream is reduced. This lack of oxygen stresses your heart, significantly increasing your chance of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and heart attacks.
Your respiratory system, which includes the parts of your body that exchange gases, is also affected by sleep apnea. This includes your nasal cavity, lungs, and other organs. Sleep apnea can develop respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Accessory Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
Several factors can increase the likelihood of developing sleep apnea, including:
- Small lower jaw
- Large neck
- Large tonsils
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Nasal congestion
- Family history
- Age of 65+
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a deviated septum cause obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
In one study, a group of 49 patients with obstructive sleep apnea had surgery to correct their deviated septa. Even though the patients saw improvements in snoring, it was not effective in treating OSA.
Can sleep apnea cause anxiety?
Unfortunately, it may also be a two-way connection. Patients who suffer from anxiety might be at higher risk for developing a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea. This means that if you treat one of the conditions, you may be able to alleviate the other as well.
With an oral appliance, you can improve your anxiety without ever taking a prescription medication. Contact our office to learn more by calling (336) 346-8988 — one of our knowledgeable team members will be happy to answer your questions.
Sleep Better—Get the Help You Deserve
If you’re fatigued, restless, or awakened continuously during the night, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Our Greensboro, NC sleep dentist, Dr. Katz, is qualified to help get you the diagnosis and treatment that you deserve. Call 336-346-8988 to schedule your consultation today. Alternatively, you can fill out the submission form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.