How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?

March 10, 2021 Published by Man holds a pillow over his ears while his wife snores because of sleep apnea.

Do you wake up feeling even more tired than you felt before you went to sleep? Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air? Does your family complain about your loud snoring? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from sleep apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that causes patients to stop breathing for brief periods of time while they sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain isn’t sending the proper signals to your lungs while you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse while you sleep and block the airway. This is the most common type of sleep apnea.

Common Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea

It can be difficult to tell if you have sleep apnea when most signs occur while you’re sleeping. We recommend asking a friend or loved one to monitor you to see if you are showing any of the signs listed below.

  • Daytime fatigue & dizziness
  • Frequent headaches
  • Irritability
  • Loud, consistent snoring
  • Waking up gasping for air

If you are currently experiencing any of these problems, we recommend contacting a sleep doctor. They will perform a sleep study and determine whether or not you have sleep apnea and which type you have.

Treating Your Sleep Apnea at Oakboro Family Dentistry

Did you know that our dentists can treat obstructive sleep apnea? Many patients find a CPAP machine uncomfortable to wear while they sleep. An alternative to the CPAP machine is a custom oral appliance. After you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea by a sleep specialist, you can visit our Oakboro, NC team to see if an oral appliance is right for you. It is a retainer-like appliance that repositions the jaw while you sleep to prevent airway obstruction. Let us help you get a good night’s sleep again!

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