What Do I Need To Know About Sleep Apnoea?

Sleep apnoea is a disorder in which breathing briefly stops while the sufferer is asleep. While these pauses in breathing are short, they can lead to problems like a buildup of carbon dioxide and a lack of oxygen in the body.

In the case of obstructive sleep apnoea, the muscles in the back of the throat relax too much, narrowing the airway. During these episodes, the brain briefly wakes up to clear the blocked airway.

There are several different types of sleep apnoea. Obstructive sleep apnoea, the most common type, occurs when soft tissues in the airway block the passage of air during sleep. When this occurs, breathing is interrupted, and the patient wakes up repeatedly during the night. These episodes can cause irritability, mood swings, and loss of appetite.

Who Is At Risk For Developing Sleep Apnoea?

There are several factors which can contribute to the likelihood of developing sleep apnoea. Some risk factors include obesity, a narrow throat, alcohol, or a history of heart disease. Children who have enlarged tonsils are also at increased risk for developing sleep apnoea.

Certain conditions, such as a deviated septum or a recessed jaw, can increase the risk of developing sleep apnoea. Physical activity and diet may also influence the condition. The disease is more likely to occur in people who are obese.

Sleep apnoea is a disorder that can run in families. If a parent has suffered from sleep apnoea, the chances of developing the disorder are higher. Early detection is important to prevent and treat the disorder. During an exam, a doctor will look for blockages in the upper airway.

Men are more susceptible to the condition than women. However, women are at a greater risk if they are overweight. Older adults are also more likely to develop the condition. People who drink alcohol or take sedatives before bed may have more episodes of sleep apnoea. Smoking can increase the likelihood of the condition because it causes inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway.

The prevalence of sleep apnoea is significantly higher among those at high cardiovascular risk. Patients with the disorder are highly symptomatic, reporting daytime sleepiness and snoring at night. The prevalence of these symptoms can be measured by a screening questionnaire. These questionnaires are generally nonspecific, but have been shown to be highly sensitive in detecting sleep apnoea.

Although there is currently no definitive cure for OSA, treatment options are available that can help people with the condition live a fuller, healthier life. At Future Dental, we are proud to supply several options for sleep apnoea treatment that have been shown to make a significant difference to the sufferer.

How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnoea?

If you’re a chronic snorer, that should be your first hint that something may be amiss with your breathing while you’re asleep. Feeling exhausted and sleep-deprived during the day is another key sign that you sleep is being disrupted. Because the moments of wakefulness are so very brief in sleep apnoea sufferers, you may not even be aware of these interruptions to your nightly rest. Indeed, often sufferers don’t even know that they’re experiencing these episodes.

Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate sleep apnoea symptoms in mild cases. One option is to modify your lifestyle. For example, you should quit smoking if you have this condition. It is also a good idea to avoid alcohol or sleep medication before you go to bed. If lifestyles changes don’t help however, we can!

How Can We Help?

At Future Dental, we offer several different treatment devices to aid in breathing for sleep apnoea sufferers. Mandibular advancement splints (MAS) have been proven to be very effective in keeping the airways open during sleep, and are a non-invasive and comfortable alternative to noisy and cumbersome CPAP machines. We provide a few different kinds of MAS device, but focus predominately on those manufactured by Oventus.

To learn more about your sleep apnoea treatment options at Future Dental, please see here.

To talk to us about treatment, please call (07) 4051 4580, or drop us a line here.

Make an Enquiry

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