Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep breathing disorder in which a person stops breathing while they sleep. The tissues in the throat collapse, cutting off the airway despite efforts to breathe.
When sleep is disrupted night after night by the frequent awakenings caused by OSA, you feel tired all day and are less able to function.
Here are 7 signals that may indicate this dangerous condition:
Sign #1: Heavy Snoring
Almost all people who have sleep apnea snore; but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. The only way to be sure you or your loved one’s snoring is not a more serious medical condition is to talk to your health professional about a sleep study.
Sign #2: Tired All of the Time
If you tend to “nod off” while sitting quietly at home, at work, on the phone or while driving, it could be a sign that you are not getting refreshing sleep at night. This can lead to mood disorders, stress on personal relationships, work-related accidents and even car accidents.
A Canadian study reported that people with sleep apnea are twice as likely to be in a car crash. They reported that even people with fairly mild sleep apnea have an increased risk of serious crashes.
Truckers associations are informing truck drivers of sleep apnea’s seriousness.
Sign #3: Moody and your Memory is Shot
Sleep apnea is correlated with sleep deprivation; sleep deprivation results in mood changes, difficulty focusing, and how well you can remember small details. Your body cannot function properly during the day when you wake up multiple times an hour to breathe during the night.
Sign #4: Pounding Headaches in the Morning
Morning headaches are due to inadequate breathing and your brain not getting enough oxygen because of it. Almost half the people with obstructive sleep apnea have headaches due to a poor night’s sleep.
Sign #5: Wake up with a Dry Mouth
Snoring causes your mouth to be wide open. That much air flow going through the mouth creates a deprivation of saliva production. This leaves your throat dry upon awakening.
Sign #6: Heartburn or Sour Taste in the Morning or at Night
Many people with sleep apnea regurgitate stomach acid while sleeping. This is known as GERD and can cause problems with your esophagus and your teeth.
Sign #7: Gasping or Choking while Sleeping
When the throat collapses during sleep, the brain forces you to partially awaken to breathe. This can happen many times during an hour and keep you from getting the deep sleep you need.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Consequences:
Untreated OSA is associated with many life threatening diseases. People with untreated sleep apnea are 3 times more likely to have heart disease than those not afflicted. They also face risk of stroke 4 times greater than non-sufferers.
It is estimated that over 40,000 people in America die each year from complications of sleep apnea. That is over 100 deaths every single day, just in the United States alone.
The dangers of OSA have been universally recognized. The good news is that both snoring and sleep apnea are treatable. Treatment options range from CPAP to convenient, comfortable and effective oral appliances.
To learn more or to get help from a sleep apnea dentist, visit www.snoringisntsexy.com.