At Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center, we’re very familiar with sleep deprivation symptoms. Constantly feeling tired and unrefreshed, irritability, and trouble concentrating are common symptoms, but not many people know that sleep deprivation – and its root cause, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – can lead to more serious health risks. Our team seeks not only to educate patients to the problems associated with sleep deprivation, but also how to prevent it.
What are the symptoms of sleep deprivation?
If you think you could be suffering from sleep deprivation, chances are you have at least some of the following symptoms. These can be separated into two groups: “Daytime” and “Nighttime”.
- Morning headache
- Feeling tired when you wake up
- Trouble concentrating
- General sleepiness throughout the day
- Interrupted breathing
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Night sweats
Left untreated, it’s possible that these symptoms will evolve into more dangerous health concerns. In fact, people who suffer from sleep deprivation (and by extension, sleep apnea) are at higher risk of several heart problems, ranging from heart attack and stroke to hypertension and heart failure. Also, sleep apnea contribute to obesity, diabetes, and decreased sex drive.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
We’ve identified sleep apnea as the leading cause of sleep deprivation, and we’ve outlined many of its associated symptoms. But medically-speaking, what exactly is sleep apnea? It’s a sleeping disorder that occurs when a person’s airway is blocked by the collapse of tissue in the throat. When this happens, the body and its major organs don’t get the amount of necessary oxygen. Also, the blockage leads to loud snoring, and breathing cessation for short periods of time, resulting in a person waking up, just for a second, before nodding off again. In extreme cases this can occur hundreds of times a night.
How Can Sleep Apnea Be Treated?
When you make an appointment with our local dentists, we’ll demonstrate how to prevent sleep deprivation, and then take steps to treat your specific needs. We have several different treatment options at our disposal, including:
For patients with mild OSA, some lifestyle changes might be all that’s needed to eliminate the problem.Taking steps like quitting smoking, losing weight, cutting down on alcohol intake, and avoiding certain medications can have a big impact.
Our dentists are proficient at developing custom-made oral appliances that stabilizes a patient’s jaw and help maintain an open airway during sleep. This product, which is similar to a sports mouth guard, also repositions the tongue so that it doesn’t get in the way.
Over the last decade or so, CPAP treatment has become a very common solution for treating OSA. A CPAP consists of a mask and machine, with the former worn at night while the latter pumps oxygen. Combined, these components ensure an open airway.
Surgical procedures, removing the tonsils, widening the breathing passages, and removing excess tissue, are also viable options for people seeking effective sleep apnea treatment.
Let’s Find The Best Treatment Option For You
Our friendly, experienced dentists work diligently to diagnose your sleep deprivation and symptoms, and create a treatment plan specifically tailored to your personal needs. Don’t let sleep apnea get you down – contact our Chicago and Deerfield dentists and schedule a consultation today.