Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder that disrupts a person’s sleep cycle and can affect their overall health. Sleep apnea causes you to temporarily stop breathing throughout the night, which can lead to health problems related to a lack of oxygen. Sleep apnea can be caused by poor sleeping posture, health conditions, genetics, enlarged tongue, tonsils, or adenoids, being overweight, and allergies.
When your body does not take in enough oxygen, it can lead to a number of health issues. Patients with sleep apnea may experience dizziness, light-headedness, shortness of breath, headaches, and other symptoms. Additionally, since sleep apnea can actually cause someone to stop breathing hundreds of times a night, this can put extra stress on the vital organs, which can lead to more serious health problems and reduce your lifespan.
The Causes of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea has many different causes, including a physical blockage of the airway, also known as obstructive sleep apnea. This may occur when a person lies down, or due to enlarged tonsils, fat deposits in the neck region, obesity/being overweight, or poor sleeping position. If there is a physical blockage causing the condition, it often results in excessive snoring as the individual struggles to take in enough oxygen while they sleep.
Sleep apnea may also be linked to a condition where the brain fails to send signals to the body instructing it to breathe. In this case, it is called central sleep apnea. Complex sleep apnea syndrome is the combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Signs & Symptoms
There are many signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, including snoring, fatigue, suddenly waking up in the night gasping or choking, dreams of drowning, headaches, drowsiness, acid reflux, insomnia, and TMJ.
Sleep apnea can also contribute to mental health conditions, such as depression, ADHD, anxiety, and more.
Meet with a Sleep Apnea Doctor in Chicago’s South Loop
For individuals suffering from sleep apnea, there are a variety of treatment options available.
Patients can be fitted with a custom-made oral appliance to improve breathing and oxygen levels at night. Patients wear this device at night to separate and reposition the jaw, pushing both the top and bottom portions forward and opening the upper airway, in turn helping to solve issues caused by physical obstructions.
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), an estimated 30 million people suffer from sleep apnea in the U.S., but only about 6 million are actually diagnosed. This means many people with the condition go untreated.
At DentArt Chicago, we provide personalized treatments through custom dental applications, as well as sleep apnea diagnosis and sleep apnea devices in Chicago.
Schedule an appointment with our sleep apnea doctors in Chicago today and get started on getting a good night’s sleep tomorrow!