Do You Snore or Have Sleep Apnoea? Ask Us for Help and Advice
Everybody snores occasionally, but persistent snoring could indicate a deeper problem. Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder that can be quite serious and if you have this condition you may snore very loudly and could wake up feeling excessively tired even after going to bed early. The most common form of sleep apnoea is called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and with this condition the throat muscles relax during sleep resulting in the airway becoming blocked so you cannot breathe for several seconds at a time until your body prompts breathing to restart. This often occurs with a loud grasp or snort and these episodes can happen hundreds of times each night. Although it may not be enough to waken you completely it does prevent deep and restorative REM sleep which is why you wake up feeling very tired. Symptoms of sleep apnoea can include:
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Feeling excessively sleepy during the daytime
- Having trouble paying attention
- Frequently waking up with a headache
- Having episodes of sleep apnoea witnessed by another person
- Experiencing night sweats
Not everyone who snores will have sleep apnoea but it is worth investigating if you think you may have this condition and our South Benfleet dentist can help you.
What Can Cause Sleep Apnoea?
There are several different reasons why sleep apnoea can develop as some people may have large adenoids or tonsils which narrows their airway. People with large necks are more at risk and anyone who is overweight is more likely to have sleep apnoea. Men are twice as likely as women to develop this condition, but women are more at risk of developing OSA after the menopause. Generally being older does increase the likelihood of you having sleep apnoea. Smokers are more frequently diagnosed with sleep apnoea as it’s likely that the smoke increases the amount of inflammation in the upper airway. If you use alcohol or sedatives or tranquillisers then this can relax the muscles in your throat, again increasing the risk of sleep apnoea. People who have allergies are also more likely to develop OSA.
The problem with sleep apnoea is that it can increase your risk of developing serious medical conditions that include high blood pressure or heart problems, Type II diabetes and it increases the risk of stroke.
Treating Mild to Moderate Sleep Apnoea
When you visit our dentist in South Benfleet then we can chat to you about ways to treat sleep apnoea. One of the most straightforward methods is to use a night guard which is a special device that works by placing your jaw in a slightly forward position, helping to prevent your tongue from falling backwards during sleep and opening up your airway. This can be very good for treating mild-to-moderate OSA. If your condition is more severe then there are other treatments available such as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This delivers pressurised air through a small mask that you wear during sleep, helping to hold your airway open and preventing sleep apnoea.
If you or your partner is fed up with your snoring then why not resolve to get a better night sleep by booking an appointment with South Benfleet Dental Care? Contact us today on 01268 793485.