Just like nocturnal bruxism, sleep apnea is a sleep-related condition that affects millions of people around the world.
Signified by snoring or gasping, sleep apnea causes your breathing passages to become repeatedly blocked, either partially or entirely. This confuses the brain, causing it to send delayed reminders to breathe if any are sent at all.
Sleep apnea is a terrifying condition because it actually causes your breathing to stop in your sleep. This can occur as much as hundreds of times a night for those with a more serious case of the condition.
In addition to extreme fatigue, patients often suffer from a reduced attention span and a decrease in motor skills and memory. Dry mouth and frequent headaches are common, but symptoms often vary, affecting men, women, and children differently.
Sleep apnea can also create a series of severe health problems, escalating from an annoying habit into a life-threatening disease, like heart attacks, glaucoma, and diabetes.
This condition is one that can develop naturally, or it may be the result of many factors, like obesity, premature birth, and endocrine or neuromuscular disorders. Poor lifestyle choices, like smoking or drinking alcohol, could be to blame, or it could merely amount to genetics and age.
With such widespread causes, scientists everywhere are conducting ongoing studies to better understand this widespread and severe condition.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute continues to conduct ongoing sleep studies that have proven successful in the past by recording these disruptive sleep patterns. By identifying the length and frequency of disruptive sleep, we can better understand and combat this nighttime disruption.
While studies remain ongoing, there are still several effective treatment options available that the team at Goochland Dentistry is trained to evaluate for you.
For example, a CPAP Breathing device, or continuous positive air pressure, has been proven effective.
Dr. Murchie will review your medical chart and perform an examination to recommend the best course of action for your specific treatment.
We will also assist you with lifestyle changes and tips that have been proven to help or reduce disruptive sleep. Our entire team will provide ongoing individualized support throughout treatment.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, give us a call to find out how we can help you!