Are you or a loved one experiencing sudden mood swings, loud snoring or tossing and turning throughout the night, or just a lack of energy?
Believe it or not, this could be the result of a nighttime breathing issue called sleep disordered breathing. Even more surprising, this breathing issue can be effectively diagnosed and treated through your dentist office.
What Is Sleep Disordered Breathing?
Sleep disordered breathing, otherwise referred to as sleep apnea, is a medical condition where your breathing stops momentarily while you sleep. This could be happening just a couple of times every night, or in severe cases up to hundreds of times every night.
Generally, sleep apnea happens due to a blockage in your airway. This momentary lapse in breathing causes the oxygen levels in your blood to go down and the CO2 levels go up. This jars you awake for a brief period, which then helps you go back to normal breathing.
Since the amount of time you are "awake" is so short, many patients don"t even realize that they have sleep apnea. And this causes serious problems. Although you"re only awake very briefly, it does affect how good of a night's rest you are getting in a big way.
What Are The Causes Of Sleep Disordered Breathing?
It"s said that 26% of people between the ages of 30 and 70 experience sleep apnea. That"s over 1 in every 4 people!
While most patients experience obstructive sleep apnea, there are actually 3 distinct types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive sleep apnea: Also known as OSA, this is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by a blockage in your airway. This blockage is commonly caused by obesity, a large tongue and tonsils, and your head and neck shape.
Central sleep apnea: Less common, central sleep apnea is caused by your brain being unable to send proper signals to your muscles to control your breathing.
Complex sleep apnea: Even less common, complex sleep apnea is when you experience both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
SLEEP APNEA RISK FACTORS
While people at any age can experience sleep disordered breathing (including children), there are a couple of risk factors that are particularly common:
Men experience obstructive sleep apnea more than women
Over 40 years of age
Those with large tonsils and a small jaw
Smoking and drinking
Family history of sleep apnea
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