If your bed partner complains about your snoring habit waking them up at night, you could be suffering from more than just a simple stuffy nose. Snoring is one of the main symptoms of sleep apnea, a serious condition which could turn deadly if left untreated. Learn more about snoring and sleep apnea with Dr. Angela Bauer at Dental Center for Snoring and Sleep Apnea in Cambridge, WI.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when breathing stops during sleep. This condition has two classifications: obtrusive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). Patients who suffer from symptoms of both classifications have what is known as complex sleep apnea. OSA occurs due to an obstruction of the airway. CSA, however, occurs due to an abnormality or disruption in the nerves which send signals to breath from your body to your brain.
Do I have sleep apnea?
You are at risk for sleep apnea if you are a male of older age, obese, an alcohol or tobacco user, or if you have a family history of sleep apnea. The most tell-tale symptoms of sleep apnea present themselves during sleep, meaning your bed partner is most likely to notice them before you. Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- excessive snoring
- snoring which bothers or wakes up your bed partner
- pauses in breathing during sleep
- choking or gasping while asleep
- waking up with shortness of breath
- morning headaches
- morning dry mouth
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Cambridge, WI
If you or your bed partner notice the symptoms of sleep apnea, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. There is no single test for sleep apnea though doctors usually request a sleep test to confirm the diagnosis. The leading treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Patients wear the machine’s mask over their nose and mouth during sleep. The machine blows a stream of air into the airway to prevent it from collapsing, eliminating the dangerous symptoms of sleep apnea and giving patients a good night’s rest, decreasing daytime symptoms.
In some cases, lifestyle changes like losing weight or simply sleeping in a different position can help quell the symptoms of sleep apnea. Your dentist may recommend a dental appliance to align the mouth and jaw to open the airway properly. In severe cases, surgery to remove an airway obstruction or realign the jaw may become necessary.
For more information on sleep apnea or snoring, please contact Dr. Bauer at Dental Center for Snoring and Sleep Apnea in Cambridge, WI. Call (608) 423-3615 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Bauer today!