Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment Helps Avoid Severe Health Problems

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment Helps Avoid Severe Health Problems

Oct 01, 2021

Sleep apnea is a severe sleep-related disorder that can lead to multiple health problems like hypertension and heart trouble if left untreated. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common condition affecting people resulting in repetitive episodes of partial or complete blockage of the upper airway when sleeping. During apneic experiences, the diaphragm and chest muscles must strive harder to build a force to open the airway. The attacks can interfere with getting sound sleep because oxygen flow is reduced to vital organs to cause heart rhythm irregularities. If left untreated by neglecting obstructive sleep apnea treatment, the condition can cause various health problems besides other issues.

Obstructive sleep apnea, when left untreated, is also a cause for job impairment, motor vehicle accidents, work-related accidents besides underachievement in school among children and teenagers.

Who Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affect?

Nearly 25 percent of men and 10 percent of women are prone to the condition of sleep apnea. However, sleep apnea affects people of all ages, including children and babies, specifically people over 50 who are overweight.

Some clinical features and physical traits are standard among patients with obstructive sleep apnea. For example, they are overweight, and large neck circumference reduces the upper airway diameter, nasal obstructions, enlarged tonsils, and a tiny jaw with an overbite.

What Are the Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

People with obstructive sleep apnea often find it challenging to recognize symptoms unless informed by their bed partner because many affected individuals have no complaints about their sleeping patterns. However, the most common signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include daytime sleepiness or fatigue, snoring, restlessness when sleeping, frequent nighttime awakenings, mood disturbances, headaches, sexual dysfunction, et cetera.

Children affected by obstructive sleep apnea may display symptoms like poor school performance, excessive sweating at night, unusual sleeping positions, and daytime mouth breathing and swallowing difficulties.

Affected individuals must seek OSA therapy in Frisco to ensure they keep the severe health-related conditions from sleep apnea at bay.

What Happens during Apneic Episodes?

During apneic episodes, people stop breathing, causing their heart rate to drop as the body is deprived of oxygen. However, when their involuntary reflexes push them to awake at the end of an apneic episode, their heart rate accelerates quickly, causing their blood pressure to rise.

When people stop breathing, these changes take place acutely. After that, however, their body starts experiencing the chronic effects of frequent apneic episodes, precisely when they stop breathing over 30 times during an hour, putting them at an increased risk.

People may experience incidences of high blood pressure, thickening of the heart valves, and other issues causing people to think they either have atrial or ventricular arrhythmias. Sleep apnea also tends to reduce the function of the heart, making it less efficient to pump blood.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

People experiencing the symptoms mentioned must discuss their problem with their primary healthcare provider or even an obstructive sleep apnea dentist. In addition, they may be asked to undergo a sleep evaluation test with a sleep specialist or even request an overnight sleep study to evaluate the problem of sleep apnea accurately.

Overnight studies for sleep apnea often take place in a sleep clinic under the supervision of a trained technologist. The sleep test called polysomnography is uncomfortable but is the gold standard for evaluating this condition. People positively affected by sleep apnea are referred back to their healthcare provider or the sleep apnea dentist to further treat obstructive sleep apnea.

Treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

People contacting the dentist near me with complaints of obstructive sleep apnea are routinely recommended dental appliances called mandibular advancement devices. These devices are excellent for people with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Dental appliances help prevent the tongue from blocking the throat by advancing the lower jaw forward. Thus, the device allows people to keep their airways open when sleeping to reduce the symptoms of this condition and, in some cases, help overcome the problem altogether.

Oral appliances shouldn’t encourage people to think they can use any device available in the market to overcome sleep apnea. Mandibular advancement devices are explicitly created by dentists in conjunction with sleep specialists. Therefore the device is best used after a dentist and sleep specialist jointly determine the treatment is optimal for people.

Whether people seek treatment for sleep apnea from the dentist or primary healthcare provider, they must understand the treatment helps avoid severe health problems instead of ignoring the condition as inconsequential.