Do you snore at night? Are you especially sleepy during the day? These are a few signs you may have sleep apnea, a serious health disorder that can affect much more than your sleep. Although it can occur in anyone, it happens most often in men. June 11-18 is National Men’s Health week, so this is a good time for anyone experiencing sleep apnea to meet prosthodontist Dr. Kathryn Ryan and learn how she may be able to help.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing when throat muscles relax and block the airway. When that happens, the brain wakes you to jump start your breathing. This wake/sleep process can occur again and again, and you may not even realize it. The result is that you get little sleep and feel fatigued during the day.
The condition also means your brain, along with the rest of your body, may not be getting enough oxygen. Repeated episodes can begin to affect the heart and blood vessels, leading to a risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. It can also play a part in developing diabetes and depression.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure, which involves wearing a mask over the nose and mouth. It connects to an oxygen machine and applies air pressure to keep your airway open while you sleep. For those with milder cases of apnea who find the device uncomfortable, there is another option: an oral appliance from your prosthodontist. They are similar in appearance to mouthguards used by athletes and work to physically retain an open airway.
See Your Prosthodontist
If you suffer from sleep apnea in Jacksonville, FL and surrounding areas, you have treatment options that can help you enjoy a healthy, more comfortable night of sleep. Make an appointment to see Dr. Ryan and discuss how an oral appliance can help you get the rest you need.