Have you noticed that even after eight hours of sleep you feel tired and lethargic throughout the day? If so, your local dentist says you may be suffering from sleep apnea in Columbus. As you continue reading, you’ll learn more about this condition, including its other symptoms, what causes it and how your dentist can help you get the rest you need to restore some normalcy to your life.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Thankfully, your body has safety mechanisms in place to ensure its survival. Sleep apnea is the result of one of them working overtime.
When you fall asleep, your brain monitors your oxygen consumption. If, for any reason, your breathing is inhibited, it sends a distress signal through your central nervous system that causes you to partially awaken. Thus, if you have an obstruction blocking your airway, this signal will be sent several times throughout a sleep cycle.
So although it may seem as though you’ve slept for the proper amount of time, you will still feel exhausted the next day. Still, there are other symptoms of sleep apnea to be on the lookout for.
Other Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Here are some of the other warning signs that you may be suffering from sleep apnea:
- Snoring – If you’re a loud snorer, it’s not a definite indicator that you have sleep apnea. However, people who suffer from this condition will typically have snoring issues.
- Morning Headaches – One of the many detriments of sleep apnea is that it limits oxygen to the brain while you sleep. As a result, you may awaken with splitting headaches in the morning.
- Depression or Irritability – Your body has a natural ebb and flow – cycles – that keep it running properly. Sleep plays a huge role in maintaining this equilibrium. Thus, if you’re deprived of proper rest, you may also suffer from bouts of depression.
How Sleep Apnea Can be Treated
The first step to getting relief from sleep apnea is to participate in a sleep study. This will allow your dentist to be sure of what your issue is so that he can provide you with the most effective treatment.
If it’s determined that you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), here are the two treatment methods available:
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine – One of the most common forms of treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, which is comprised of a mask with an attached tube that runs to a machine that supplies constant oxygen throughout the night.
- Removable Device – For some, the CPAP machine is too cumbersome and bulky. Thus, your local dentist also offers a removable oral device that helps to keep your airway open, preventing disruptions in your breathing. Another attractive feature is that it’s small and portable, making it easier to travel with.
For more severe cases of OSA, your dentist in Columbus may recommend of combination of the two. The process to getting the help you need, though, starts with you simply picking up the phone and contacting your sleep apnea specialist to schedule an initial visit.
Soon, you’ll be getting the rest you need and back to living your life to the fullest.
About the Author
A graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Dr. Eric Buck is a member of several professional organizations. He can be found helping patients get the rest they need at Creative Smiles and can be reached for more information through his website.