Do you wake up feeling fatigued? Do you drag through your day with a lack of focus and inability to concentrate?
These symptoms can be a result of a few sleepless nights, but if it's a chronic problem for you, the culprit may be obstructive sleep apnea, also referred to as OSA.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Apnea means a temporary cessation in breathing, and since these episodes happen while you sleep, we call it sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the tongue and soft tissues in your mouth collapse as you relax during sleep, blocking your airway.
Your body, sensing the lack of oxygen, sends a signal to the brain to wake you up to breathe. The result is usually a loud gasp or snort as your body struggles to take in oxygen. These episodes can last minutes at a time and occur hundreds of times during a single night.
3 Challenges Associated with OSA
There are several challenges that come along with OSA:
- Compromised relationships - If you have ever had to sleep with someone who snores excessively, you know it can take a toll on your sleep and your life. The result is that you're both fatigued, which can lead to irritability and even potential relationship problems.
- Fatigue and difficulty concentrating - You simply can't function properly without sufficient sleep. The quality of your work may suffer, and sleep apnea is the cause of many drowsy driving accidents.
- Increased risk for general health problems - A lack of sufficient oxygen can lead to hypertension, heart disease, increased risk of heart attacks, and strokes.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Metairie
As detrimental as sleep apnea can be, the solution in your case may be relatively easy. Dr. Margaret Patterson and the team at Oak Family Dental can often resolve sleep apnea with a customized dental device that you wear while you sleep. The device positions your jaw slightly forward, clearing your airway and allowing you to breathe freely.
Many sleep apnea patients are candidates, so please call our Metairie dental office to arrange a convenient consultation to see how we can help you.