Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a common sleep disorder that involves the cessation of breathing while you sleep. For patients who have it, the disorder can become a significant factor in their overall health and wellbeing – and, yet, they may not realize they even have sleep apnea until its effects become significant. At our Auburn Hills, MI, dental office, we often recommend a custom-designed sleep appliance to help patients comfortably and effectively address the airway blockage that leads to sleep apnea. We also explain why treating the condition is important, and why snoring and sleep apnea should never be ignored.
It’s a sleep and breathing disorder
Sleep apnea doesn’t just affect your sleep, it also impacts your breathing patterns. In fact, your sleep is interrupted because your airway has become blocked (obstructed) by mouth and/or throat tissues. For several moments, the obstruction prevents you from breathing, until your body panics from lack of oxygen and wakes up enough to clear the airway. As your brain and body settle back into the relaxation of sleep, the tissues will again obstruct the airway, creating a cycle of breathing and sleep disruption that repeats itself hundreds of times a night.
Why you probably won’t notice
Despite the fact that you’re technically waking up hundreds of times a night, it’s very likely that you won’t notice OSA at first. That’s because each episode typically doesn’t wake you from consciousness, so you remain unaware that you’re snoring or that you stop breathing. For many people, a concerned partner or loved one who witnesses the loud, distinctive snoring pattern is the reason why they seek treatment.
OSA has serious health consequences
Sleep apnea deprives you of the time you need to enter R.E.M. sleep, which is essential for your body and brain to rejuvenate themselves. It also forces you to work extra hard for a severely limited amount of oxygen, and together, these consequences can eventually have a serious impact on your systemic wellbeing. Besides the daytime signs of sleep deprivation, like fatigue and poor memory, you can also become more at-risk for conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and much more. If you have sleep apnea, then treating it as soon as possible could be the most important step you take in preserving the rest of your health, as well.
Find relief with a custom sleep appliance
If you have sleep apnea, then it may be having a bigger impact on your sleep and quality of life than you realize. For more information, or to find out if you can benefit from custom sleep apnea treatment, schedule an appointment or initial consultation by calling Advanced Dental Concepts in Auburn Hills, MI today at (248) 852-1820.