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what-is-sleep-apnea

What Is Sleep Apnea

Why Is It Dangerous To Your Health

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder (illness) best described as abnormal breathing or pauses in breathing during sleep.  During these pauses, the body is deprived of oxygen and can cause or exacerbate a host of other dangerous medical conditions.

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Sleep Apnea Dentist Jasper in Southeast Texas

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Translated, the Greek word 'apnea' means "without breath." Sleep apnea is the term used to describe a condition when an individual experiences an involuntary cessation of breathing while he or she is asleep.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Doctors categorized sleep apnea into three types: obstructive (OSA), central, and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most commonly diagnosed. Each type, although varying in their specific causes, makes people stop breathing frequently during their sleep. Amazingly, unbeknownst to the sleeper, sometimes they stop breathing hundreds of times during the night and many times for a minute or longer.

Sleep Apnea? So What?

I stop breathing throughout the night. So what? I wake up in the morning. Complications stemming from sleep apnea are serious. Just to mention a few, note the following complications and their possible effects on the body.

- High blood pressure or heart problems:

  • strains the cardiovascular system
  • increases the risk of stroke
  • causes sudden death from a cardiac event
  • develops other vascular diseases

- Daytime fatigue:

  • causes severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue, and irritability
  • creates difficulty concentrating
  • promotes falling asleep at work, while watching television, or even when driving
  • allows irritability, moodiness, or depression

- Complications with medications and surgery:

  • experiences possible complications following major surgery requiring a flat position or certain medications

- Liver problems:

  • shows signs of scarring of the liver on liver function tests

- Sleep-deprived partners:

  • keeps those around you from getting good rest, often because of snoring, perhaps disrupting your relationships

- Other complications:

  • memory lapses
  • morning headaches
  • urination throughout the night
  • sexual interest decreases

What are My Options to Control Sleep Apnea?

You have several options to control your sleep apnea, ranging from a simple, nasal spray therapy to the more complex medical surgery. The treatment depends on your specific diagnosis and depends on your medical doctor's recommendation. Normally, the first method of treatment for sleep apnea that doctors recommend is the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. However, some patients find the CPAP uncomfortable and difficult to wear during the night. Perhaps your doctor then might recommend oral appliance therapy to correct your sleep apnea. Perfect! Dr. Koch of Family & Implant Dental Care, in Jasper, Texas, can help. Their goal for their patients is to achieve and maintain overall, excellent health. When you suffer from sleep apnea, your whole body suffers. Dr. Koch and his dental team can manufacture a therapeutic oral appliance to begin your therapy to control your sleep apnea. Ask us how today!