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July 29, 2016

Dr. Kent Smith Discusses What is Sleep Apnea?

sleep apnea in Irving TXSleep apnea is a common condition that is most noted by loud, chronic snoring. However, the condition involves much more than snoring. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that requires treatment to protect your health and quality of life. Dr. Kent Smith has everything you need to know about sleep apnea in Irving TX. We’ll provide the treatments you need to gain control over your sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is classified as a sleep disorder that’s most often caused by an obstruction in the airway. The obstruction causes pauses in breathing while sleeping numerous times per night. Each pause in breathing can last as long as 30 seconds…or longer. While this may not seem like a long period of time, each pause in breathing causes inadequate oxygen levels in the body. Over time, this can produce potentially deadly complications while significantly decreasing your quality of life.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Most cases of sleep apnea are the result of an obstruction. The obstruction usually results from the soft tissue of the back of the throat collapsing as the muscles of the upper airway relax while you sleep. For some, the tongue may fall over the airway, narrowing the airway and reducing the amount of oxygen that reaches the lungs.

What are the Complications of Sleep Apnea?

The most common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea is loud, chronic snoring. However, symptoms are actually quite diverse and extend beyond just snoring. It’s not uncommon to wake frequently choking or gasping for air. In addition, you may have headaches, extreme fatigue, and a dry throat. Over time, the lack of airflow can lead to the development of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. In some cases, diabetes can develop. Lack of adequate sleep can eventually cause sleep deprivation, which can result in loss of daytime productivity, depression, and irritability.

How is Sleep Apnea Treated?

To be diagnosed with sleep apnea, you will need to undergo a sleep study. The sleep study will monitor you as you sleep to allow for a proper diagnosis. Once diagnosed, a suitable treatment can begin. Often, treatment involves the use of a CPAP in Irving TX. This is a machine that’s used at night while you sleep. A mask covers the mouth and nose, delivering a steady stream of air to keep the airway open. For others, oral sleep appliances in Irving TX may be needed. Oral appliances are similar to mouthguards, which are worn over the teeth at night. The mouthguards reposition the jaw and tongue to keep the airways open.

Treating Sleep Apnea in Irving TX

21st Century Dental & Sleep Center provides various forms of treatment for sleep apnea in Irving TX. We’ll evaluate your individual case of sleep apnea to determine which form of treatment will best meet your needs. We have CPAP machines and oral appliances to keep the airways open. With the proper treatment, you’ll sleep more soundly at night while protecting your health and quality of life. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, please call our office at (844) 409-4657.