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The Silent Killer, How Sleep Apnea damages your Health

sleep apnea damages health

sleep apnea damages healthSan Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA

Your spouse has been telling you for some time now that you’re impossible to share a bedroom with. Why? Because you snore loudly and constantly. It’s hard to deal with for those who may sleep near you, but snoring also could be a sign of a potentially dangerous sleep-breathing disorder: obstructive sleep apnea. Also known as OSA, obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition that stops breathing for short periods of time while you sleep. Our Bay Area dentists at Glen Park Dental want you to understand that if this condition goes untreated, it can be life-threatening.

What is sleep apnea?

There are two kinds of sleep apnea: obstructive and neurological. While neurological sleep apnea is an uncommon disorder, obstructive sleep apnea is much more common and occurs when the soft tissues in your airway relax too much, or collapse, which disrupts your breathing, and your sleep cycle. This sleep breathing disorder is more likely to affect you if you are male, overweight, over 40, suffer from nasal obstructions, or you have GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). However, anyone of any age, even children and athletes, could be at risk.

You could have sleep apnea and not even know it, making it even more dangerous for your health. Sleep apnea presents a variety of symptoms that are often overlooked or misdiagnosed as other health problems, such as insomnia, migraines, and chronic fatigue, among others. For children with sleep apnea, they may show symptoms that mimic ADD or ADHD. Common symptoms of sleep apnea, aside from snoring, include gasping or choking during sleep, regularly waking up with a sore throat, feeling exhausted even after a full night’s rest, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, teeth grinding, anxiety, and headaches. The lack of oxygen and interrupted sleep can develop fairly quickly into cognitive problems, affecting your memory and focus.

Obstructive sleep apnea has such a variety of symptoms that the only way to know for certain whether you have it is to get a sleep apnea screening by your dentists in San Francisco at Glen Park Dental. While a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is a common treatment for sleep apnea, it isn’t your only option. At Glen Park Dental, we can treat sleep apnea in San Francisco using oral appliances called mandibular advancement devices. These devices are similar in appearance to anti-snoring mouth guards and work by moving the lower jaw forward in order to help the airway remain open during sleep.

Treating sleep apnea in Oakland

Sleep apnea is the silent killer—especially when it goes undiagnosed or untreated, which sadly is the case for many who suffer from the disorder. Don’t let sleep apnea sneak up on you in the night. Your partner may not understand how you don’t wake from your wheezy snoring, but we know that sleep apnea is serious and dangerous. At Glen Park Dental, we want to help you find the right solution for your sleep apnea today. Contact our office at (415) 585-1500, and allow our professional staff at Glen Park Dental help treat your sleep apnea if you are located in Marin, Oakland, or San Francisco, CA.