Who would have thought that the condition which prevents a person from getting enough sleep at night, causes unproductiveness in the morning, and increases the risk of serious health issues, is not yet considered severe? Sleep apnea, like with other health issues, have different degrees of severity. AHI or the apnea-hypopnea index is the determiner of how serious the case of sleep apnea is. It measures the apnea (breathing cessations) and hypopneas (constricted breathing) that is experienced each hour of sleep. This process is usually performed during a sleep study.
If the patient experiences 5 to 15 episodes of apnea/hypopnea, it is considered a mild case. It is assessed as moderate if the events that occur per hour is 15 to 30, while severe is if the person’s breathing pauses or constricts 30 times or more every hour. Is it essential for patients to find out the severity of their sleep apnea? The answer is a big YES! That is because they can be made aware of all the possible risks involved. Besides, it would seem as though more threats aside from diabetes and heart disease are discovered; one of them is cancer.
For our patients at Bosler Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry to know more about sleep apnea, especially its most common form, we have prepared some pieces of information.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
The most common form of sleep apnea occurs due to the collapse of the soft tissues at the back of the throat that blocks the airways. And one of the most common symptoms associated with this condition is loud snoring. For everyone to have a clearer idea of the other things to watch out for, refer to the list provided below.
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headaches
- Excessive sleepiness in the morning
- Sweating at night
- Sudden awakenings associated with choking and gasping sounds
- Trouble concentrating
- Mood swings
- High blood pressure
- Decreased libido
Since episodes of sleep apnea take place during sleep, if any of the listed above are encountered and if a family member or bed partner mentions the episodes of breathing pauses, see the dentist immediately. It is also important to note that snorers are not automatically sleep apnea sufferers. There are people with sleep apnea who don’t snore and vice versa. The best way to know if one really does have sleep apnea is by booking a dental appointment. And also for the dentist take measures by offering an oral device similar to retainers or mouth guards that can be worn during sleep. What these devices do is they slightly push the lower jaw forward, which allows the patient to get a steady stream of air while sleeping.
What are you waiting for? Have your Sleep Apnea / Snoring in Vacaville, CA properly diagnosed to avoid the potential risks it brings that can affect one’s overall health and wellness!