Posted on 10/13/2017 by Dr. J. Derek Tieken
|Halloween is right around the corner, which means you're probably busy dodging a slew of practical jokes, horror films, and all things scary.
It's all in good fun, of course, but Halloween is definitely the time of year when some people enjoy playing on the deepest fears of their nearest and dearest.
Where the fun stops, however, is when your nights are haunted by something that's actually scary. It's a sleep condition that's far from a harmless Halloween prank. It's sleep apnea, and it can bring with it some frightening risks to your health.
That's why our team at Tieken Smiles Dentistry is devoting the blog today to this potentially dangerous problem so that you can better understand how to spot it, as well as how to treat it so that your nights aren't haunted by sleep apnea this Halloween season!
Sleep Apnea Is A Scary Bump In The Night
First, we'll explain the vicious cycle of sleep apnea. It begins with you crawling into bed after a long day and drifting peacefully off to sleep.
Things take a dramatic and disruptive turn, however, when your airway tightens or closes for a several seconds, causing you to jerk awake, struggle for air, wait for your breathing to normalize, and then you fall back asleep.
This nightmarish cycle repeats all night long, night after night after sleepless night. For many sufferers, they don't even remember waking up through the night. For others, they're very much awake during those terrifying moments when they can't get air to their lungs. It can be tremendously scary.
The reason that your airways become blocked can be due to either central sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea has to do with some sort of malfunction in the brain's ability to send messages to your body's breathing mechanisms. With obstructive sleep apnea, there's a more tangible cause where your airway is blocked by the collapse of your throat tissue.
Not only is sleep apnea really scary in the moment, but it also brings with it a variety of other symptoms that not only affect how you feel day in and day out, but ones that can have a devastating impact on your overall health.
Is Sleep Apnea Lurking Behind Your Symptoms?
As we mentioned earlier, sleep apnea can be tricky because it's happening while you sleep, which makes many sufferers oblivious to it.
The most obvious symptom, outside of a blocked airway, is your loud, persistent snoring night after night. Beyond that, the signs of sleep apnea become more widespread and diverse, making this condition even more complicated to diagnose on your own.
The following symptoms are commonly associated with sleep apnea if you are:
Because it can be hard to put all the pieces together, it's important that you rely on an experienced professional like Dr. Tieken, who can provide you with the tools you need to conduct your own sleep test at home to measure your breathing pattern through the night.
If necessary, he will team up with a sleep specialist in order to accurately diagnose your sleep apnea.
Avoiding The Nightmare Of Sleep Apnea!
After a sleep test confirms that you have sleep apnea, Dr. Tieken can offer a couple of ways to treat it so you can have the restful sleep your body desperately needs. You can opt for a custom-made mouthguard to wear at night so that your airways stay open and allow air to flow easily.
Or, you might prefer to use a CPAP machine, which involves wearing a mask that's attached to a device that keeps air moving continuously through your airways as you sleep.
This Halloween, we want to encourage you to get answers to your sleep problems and all the other miserable symptoms that haunt you. Get a good night's rest with proper diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea with help from Tieken Smiles Dentistry. Call Tieken Smiles Dentistry at (281) 942-0444 or contact us to book a visit to our League City, TX dentist office.
Beautifully written and very informative
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