Snoring and Other Common Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic condition which can cause a host of symptoms. Issues can range from loud snoring to chronic fatigue. Dr. Melina Morrison can recognize even the most subtle sleep apnea symptoms during a consultation at her Rockwall, TX, dental practice. At Rockwall Family Dentistry, we typically begin patients with oral appliance therapy. This conservative treatment method can eliminate most symptoms. By improving the quality of your sleep, our care can give you higher energy levels throughout the day. Untreated sleep apnea may have life-altering consequences, including an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Therefore, our various treatment methods may also improve your overall health.
Diagnosis & Risk Factors
An evaluation of your symptoms is one of the most effective ways to diagnose sleep apnea. Dr. Morrison will take all the time necessary to discuss your sleep habits, medical history, level of fatigue, and other concerns. Since she has in-depth knowledge of sleep apnea, she can recognize the seemingly unrelated symptoms that may indicate the condition. In addition, she will examine your mouth and throat to look for anything that might be blocking the flow of air. Additional risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Being male
- Excess weight
- Family history
- Teeth grinding
Typically, this initial evaluation will be enough to diagnose OSA. However, in some cases, we may refer you to a specialist for a more comprehensive sleep study.
Common Signs of Sleep Apnea
Snoring is often a telltale sign of sleep apnea. It results when air must squeeze through your partially blocked throat, vibrating the soft tissues. Like many patients, you may consider snoring to be normal. However, you should not overlook loud nighttime breathing, since it can be key to diagnosing OSA. Other sleep apnea symptoms can include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
- Suddenly waking up at night, sometimes with a sharp intake of air
Long-term Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea
Along with more immediate effects, OSA can cause a number of serious health problems. When you repeatedly stop breathing during the night, oxygen levels in your blood will drop, causing your brain to release adrenaline. With constantly high levels of stress hormones in your body, you could develop high blood pressure.
Both the immediate and long-term effects of sleep apnea can take a toll on your quality of life.
Hypertension can strain your heart, raising your risk for atrial fibrillation, heart attack, and stroke. Sleep apnea can also make it difficult to control blood sugar if you already suffer from diabetes. Other sleep apnea-related health risks include depression and increased ADHD symptoms.
Both the immediate and long-term effects of sleep apnea can take a toll on your quality of life. Your performance at work could suffer, and you may find that your personal relationships are strained due to mood changes. Further, your constant exhaustion could lead to a loss of motivation and keep you from enjoying the activities you love.
Contact Rockwall Family Dentistry
If you are suffering from the symptoms of sleep apnea, Dr. Morrison can help improve your health with her compassionate and personalized care. Contact our practice today to schedule your custom consultation.