Commonly Missed Signs of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is an often undiagnosed, but serious condition that you need to watch out for. In the United States alone, around 20%-30% of adults suffer from sleep apnea. If you suddenly wake up very tired or with a fast heartbeat, then you may need to consider that sleep apnea may be the culprit. Here at Smile Family Dentistry, we can help you diagnose and treat your sleep apnea, even if you have some uncommon symptoms or signs.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects your sleep. Basically, people with sleep apnea have irregular breathing patterns during sleep. This disturbance of airflow and oxygen can have detrimental effects on your body and overall health. The more air your throat blocks, the worse you may have it.
What Are The Common Signs of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea has two major warning signs: fatigue and snoring. If you wake up tired, or simply stay fatigued and sleepy all day even if you had technically slept several hours, then it may very well be sleep apnea. Because your breathing was interrupted so often during sleep, even if you slept for eight hours, they do not count as full and healthy hours of sleep.
Loud snoring is another major symptom. Snoring is not always indicative of sleep apnea, but if it is so loud that your spouse cannot sleep, then you may need to get it checked out.
What Are Less Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
There are a number of unusual symptoms that people rarely relate to sleep apnea, which causes more and more cases to go undiagnosed. The first sign is having a dry mouth or sore throat. Usually, a sore throat is a sign of a cold or flu and a dry mouth can be equated to dehydration. However, your mouth and throat may be dry upon waking because of your mouth opening too frequently during sleep because of sleep apnea.
Another commonly missed combination of signs is being forgetful and having a lack of concentration. Without proper sleep, your brain is simply not operating at its full capacity, so you cannot focus very well and you forget things more often. Just one night of bad sleep can affect your concentration significantly, so if this is a recurring issue, then your doctor can help you determine whether or not it is sleep apnea.
The most unusual possible symptom of sleep apnea is low libido. Once again, bad sleep affects all of your body functions and your libido is one of them. If you are simply too tired both in the morning and at night and would prefer to just head to bed, then a visit to your doctor may be in order.
What Are The Effects of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea has both mild and extremely dangerous effects on your body. The simplest issue caused by sleep apnea is headaches. Headaches because of bad sleep are very common. However, sleep apnea can also have detrimental effects such as high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, and heart problems. While sleep apnea itself is very unlikely to cause death, the effects from it, such as cardiac events, can.
Overall, sleep apnea should never be underestimated or brushed off. It is a very common condition but one that needs more attention to be properly treated. At Smile Family Dentistry, we provide mechanical therapy, mandibular devices, hypoglossal nerve stimulator, and other treatments for sleep apnea. If you would like to speak with our staff or book an appointment over the phone, give us a call at 925-825-1130.