3 Warning Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea

Do you ever wake up feeling exhausted, even after a supposedly good night’s sleep? Or perhaps your partner complains about your loud snoring keeping them awake? These could be signs that you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a relatively common but serious sleep disorder that causes repeated collapse of the airway during sleep, temporarily blocking airflow. According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, as many as 18 million Americans may have sleep apnea. Here are some of the warning signs you may be one of those people.

1. Your Snoring Is Extremely Disruptive

Snoring here and there is harmless, but if your snoring is like a revving chainsaw that makes it hard for others to sleep, especially if you’ve been told you gasp or choke as you sleep, this points to OSA. When your airway gets fully blocked, it triggers loud snoring, snorts, or choking noises as your brain briefly rouses from deep sleep to reopen your airway. If your partner keeps elbowing you overnight hoping to quell disruptive snoring with no success, be proactive and discuss screening for OSA with your doctor and seek out options through dental care.

2. You Have Other Health Issues

The repeated oxygen drops and sleep deprivation caused by OSA stress your body’s systems, potentially leading to issues that include cardiovascular disease, impaired glucose metabolism increasing your risk for diabetes, fatigue-related accidents, depression, and more. Pay attention if you already struggle with such health conditions or related risk factors like obesity, especially alongside extreme daytime drowsiness. Consider how screening and dental care for OSA could improve your overall health.

3. You Have Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

Do you find it nearly impossible to stay awake throughout the day, catching yourself dozing off unintentionally? Do friends and family say you seem spacey or not mentally present even after adequate nightly rest? Excessive drowsiness and “brain fog” unrelated to lack of sleep often indicate OSA. Your cognitive functioning is impaired when severe nightly oxygen loss prevents you from reaching enough periods of restorative deep sleep necessary for cells to repair, brain pathways to strengthen, and memories to consolidate.

If you relate to one or more warning signs covered, schedule an appointment today to explore OSA screening and treatment options with Dr. Doug Phillips, a Diplomat with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. Quality dental care can identify airway risk factors for OSA through exams of your mouth, throat, and jaw structure. Diagnostic sleep tests can also confirm OSA, spurring personalized treatment planning to help you finally achieve restful sleep and renewed daytime vigor. If you suspect you have sleep apnea or are looking to get treatment for it, call our dental office today for an appointment.

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