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What is Sleep Apnea?

What is Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition in which sufferers stop breathing again and again as they sleep. The two types of sleep apnea, obstructive and central, involve physical interference and neurological interference in breathing, respectively. Both can have severe effects on health and quality of life. Here is more about apnea, including its effects on patients, and how it can be treated.

 

Effects of Apnea

The average person stops breathing for short periods a few times per hour during sleep, but apnea patients may stop breathing hundreds of times every night. This prevents them from reaching deeper stages of sleep, meaning they are deprived of oxygen and feel fatigued the next day. This condition raises risks of accidents, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. Depression and brain fog also commonly occur in apnea patients.

 

How Apnea Is Treated

The classic standard of apnea treatment is CPAP, which keeps the airway open for patients who have the obstructive form of this condition. Dental options for treating obstructive apnea include oral appliances, which hold the airway open, and tissue removal surgery, which permanently widens the airway. Depending on the patient, dental treatments may be more effective and more tolerable than CPAP.

 

Because sleep duration is often normal in patients with apnea, many do not realize that they suffer from this condition. Patients who recognize the above symptoms can benefit from testing to find out if they need treatment. At a consultation with our dentist, patients can find out more about apnea and how it can be treated at our office.

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