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What Is Sleep Apnea?


Woman covering ears while husband snoresAs we are up typing this right now, it is 4 o’clock in the morning. Although there is no one up in the house with us, we know that we are not alone. There are millions of other Americans up right now with us, all over the United States. Thirty-five percent of adults in America do not get the standard 7 hours of sleep required for good health. Thirty percent of us miss sleep at least 2 days a week.

Many Americans are suffering from a sleep disorder, which causes them to sleep fewer hours less restfully than others. One of the sleep disorders that is most common in the United States is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea affects 22 million Americans. If it is left untreated, it can cause problems for your mind and body. It can even be fatal. If you don’t know the warning signs for sleep apnea, keep reading. Spektor Dental can give you a little more information about this troubling, but treatable, illness.

What is Sleep Apnea?


Sleep apnea is considered a serious sleep disorder. That’s because sleep apnea causes you to have breathing trouble while you are sleeping. If you have sleep apnea, you don’t breathe normally during the night. You have pauses in your breathing during the night. Your breathing stops for a few seconds several times while you are trying to sleep. Your body, thinking that you are having trouble with your breathing, wakes you up. While your body knows it's up, you are technically still asleep. You won’t usually remember waking up over and over again, but you will. Because your body constantly wakes you during the night, you never approach the hours of restful sleep your body and mind need.

Symptoms


There are several symptoms of sleep apnea. You will snore loudly; so loudly that often your partner will hear you during the night. Not only are you keeping yourself up, but you are keeping them up as well. You may wake up each day feeling more tired than when you went to bed. You may wake up with a blinding headache. You may also have a difficult time getting to sleep some nights.

Sleep apnea sometimes runs in families. People who are overweight or obese also have trouble with sleep apnea. If you have a larger neck, bigger than 17 inches in diameter, you are more likely to have sleep apnea. Men are more likely to get sleep apnea than women, especially if they have elevated blood pressure.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea


Luckily, treatment for sleep apnea is quite simple. People have several different types of treatment options available. You can wear a mask for sleeping, to make sure you are breathing correctly. Many people find the mask uncomfortable. There are also surgical procedures to remove excess flesh in your throat. One of the most popular treatments for sleep apnea is the use of a night mouthguard. The guard pulls your jaw forward while you are sleeping, and allows you to breathe throughout the night without stopping.

If you have been told you have sleep apnea, why not give Spektor Dental a call at (425) 247-3629?

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