What Is the Main Cause of Sleep Apnea?

What Is the Main Cause of Sleep Apnea?

February 15, 2023

Sleep apnea is a potentially severe sleep disorder causing your breathing to stop and start repeatedly. Loud snoring may indicate sleep apnea, leaving you tired or irritable after a whole night’s rest. Unfortunately, you might not realize this problem unless your bed partner wakes you up or reports the issue during the day.

If you think you have sleep apnea because of the loud snoring, you must schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine whether you have a complicated problem that can result in several other issues.

Types Of Sleep Apnea

You might have one of three different types of sleep apnea. They are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea is the standard variety occurring because of the relaxation of your throat muscles.
  • Central sleep apnea arises when your brain doesn’t rightly signal your muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome, alternatively called treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, occurs when you have obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Regardless of which type affects you getting sleep apnea treatment becomes essential if you want to prevent the severe health conditions that might bother you if you ignore treatment.

It helps if you note that loud snoring alone doesn’t indicate you have sleep apnea because not everyone with sleep apnea snores. You must discuss your symptoms that might indicate sleep apnea requesting the doctor about sleep issues that leave you sleepy, irritable, and tired.

Causes of Different Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: When your back throat muscles relax, obstructive sleep apnea occurs. The muscles supporting the soft palate, the triangular tissue piece hanging from the soft palate on the side walls of the throat and tongue relax.

The relaxation of the muscles narrows and closes your airway when breathing, resulting in insufficient air to lower oxygen levels in the blood. Your inability to breathe is sensed by your brain to briefly arouse your sleep to reopen your airway. The awakening is brief, leaving you with no recollection of the incident. However, you might choke, gasp or snort during the awakening. The pattern repeats five to 30 times every hour every night, impairing your proficiency to get restful stages of sleep.

Central Sleep Apnea: This variety is not common but ensues when your brain doesn’t convey signals to your breathing muscles. The lack of signals indicates you make no effort to breathe for brief periods, awaken with shortness of breath, and confront challenges getting to sleep or remaining asleep.

Sleep apnea can affect all, including children. However, some factors increase your risk of developing this problem.

Sleep Apnea Complications

Sleep apnea is a severe medical condition. Its complications include daytime fatigue, high blood pressure or heart problems, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, complications with medications and surgery, liver problems, and sleep-deprived partners. Therefore if you are affected by the symptoms described, you must seek treatment for sleep apnea from your doctor or dentist.

How Do You Fix Sleep Apnea

If you visit the dentist in Minnetonka, MN, they evaluate your condition after listening to your signs and symptoms and sleep history. You will likely receive a referral to a sleep medicine specialist for help to determine whether you need further evaluation.

Evaluation for sleep apnea generally includes overnight monitoring at a sleep clinic of your breathing and body functions when sleeping. The polysomnography test, considered the gold standard for identifying sleep apnea, is performed at the sleep center. However, technological advances now make home sleep apnea tests available on portable devices that cannot detect all kinds of sleep apnea.

Fixing Sleep Apnea

For mild sleep apnea, the dentist will suggest lifestyle changes such as weight loss and quitting smoking. If the measures don’t alleviate your symptoms, the dentist suggests other treatments for help.

If your sleep apnea is moderate or severe, you benefit from using a device delivering air pressure through a mask when you sleep. The CPAP device helps keep your upper airway passage open to prevent sleep apnea and snoring. The CPAP instrument is reliable for treating sleep apnea but is not tolerated by most people because it is bulky.

The Minnetonka dentist has many devices that can relieve sleep apnea symptoms. They provide you with an oral appliance to keep your throat open. Oral devices open your throat by pushing your jaw forward to help relieve snoring and mild sleep apnea. However, these devices are different from over-the-counter mouthguards and need customization by a dental lab to explicitly fit your mouth. After you have a customized device, you must follow up with your dentist repeatedly during your first year and frequently later to ensure the device is suitable and reassess your signs and symptoms.

If you are affected by the symptoms of loud snoring, indicating you might have sleep apnea, kindly consult Holger Dental Group — Minnetonka with your symptoms to determine whether you are affected by a severe sleep-related disorder. If you are, the dentist provides you with a suitable remedy to overcome sleep apnea and the complications associated with the condition.

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