Do you snore loudly and frequently? Do you wake up feeling tired? Do you find yourself dozing off during the day? If you answered yes to these questions, you might be affected by a condition called sleep apnea. Let's take a deeper dive into these symptoms:
Typically, snoring is the result of an obstruction in the respiratory tract. In the mouth, this is often caused by excess soft tissue – specifically the uvula and soft palate. The narrowed airway prevents air from passing freely through the throat and nose when sleeping. As the air is forced through a smaller space, it produces a louder sound. The resulting vibration from the snoring can be disruptive to sleep patterns as well as to the sleep of nearby partners or family members.
Being tired all of the time and having trouble sleeping may make you feel irritable, moody, or even depressed. Those feelings are normal when your body needs the rest that sleep provides. However, sleep apnea disrupts your sleep cycle so completely that your mental health is affected.
If your spouse points out that you are more irritable than you should be, consider speaking with your dentist about your symptoms. Sleep apnea may be to blame. The symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea can be disruptive to your relationships as you struggle to keep your emotions in check.
Many sufferers of sleep apnea complain of excessive daytime sleepiness and extreme exhaustion during the day. In fact, many patients report being so tired that they are unable to perform even the simplest tasks at work and/or at home. Some patients even experience falling asleep while driving or while on the job, which puts their lives in danger as well. Patients suffering from sleep apnea are also likely to suffer from depression because they feel tired, lethargic, and irritable throughout the day. These complaints are not normal and should not be ignored. If you recognize any of the symptoms above in yourself or a loved one, it may be time to visit your dentist and discuss the possibility of having sleep apnea.
You may notice that your quality of sleep and your ability to concentrate during the day is getting worse. This is likely due to you not sleeping through the night, which could cause fatigue and exhaustion. If left untreated, your condition can get worse and lead to daytime drowsiness, fatigue, memory problems like forgetting things frequently, and difficulty concentrating. You may also notice that you are falling asleep at inappropriate times throughout your day, such as when you are driving or at work. This may cause you to feel drowsy throughout the day as well.
Because sleep apnea deprives you of oxygen at night, many patients complain of insomnia. Some patients even experience severe sleep deprivation. While this may not seem serious at first, it can have serious consequences on your health, mood, and overall well-being. If left untreated, sleep apnea may also lead to depression and mood disorders as your brain struggles to get the rest it needs each night. Those with sleep apnea are more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease than their counterparts with healthy breathing patterns.
People with sleep apnea often awaken with headaches in the morning because their brains were starved of oxygen while they slept. This is caused by the airway being blocked throughout the night, leading to snoring and waking you from sleep. When your brain doesn't get enough oxygen during sleep, it can trigger feelings of fatigue, stress, and anxiety, as well as headaches.
At Lake Mountain Dental, your smile is our top priority. We've been treating patients in Eagle Mountain, UT, for over a long time. We look forward to working with you to create the smile of your dreams. To schedule your appointment with our office, please call us at (801) 960-3779 or visit us today.