According to a 2014 study, an estimated 5.4 million Canadian adults are at high risk of, or have been diagnosed with, obstructive sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common, chronic disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Sometimes breathing stops for up to 30 seconds. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
- Pausing after snoring loudly
- Feeling sleepy during the day
- Choking during sleep
- Experiencing morning headaches
- Decreasing focus during the day
- Feeling irritable
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
- Waking up with a dry mouth
Why Sleep Apnea Shouldn’t Be Ignored
Snoring on its own isn’t a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. Here’s what to watch out for:
- Poor quality sleep
- Negative effect on your partner and your relationship
- Increased blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Low productivity
- Increased risk of road accidents
- Increased risk of work-related injuries
What Causes Sleep Apnea
- Blockage in nasal passage ways
- Bulky throat
- Jaw development
- Being male. Sleep apnea is more common among men.
- Middle-aged adults and older are at higher risk.
- Alcoholic beverages can cause your throat muscles to relax more than usual.
- Medications. Sleeping pills and narcotic medications can also leave your throat muscles more relaxed.
Finding Out if You Have Sleep Apnea
- Have a family member observe your sleep.
- Get yourself tested at a sleep clinic or use a home test.
- Sleep tests monitor oxygen level in your blood, pulse rate, and snoring level among many others.
Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms
- Maintain an active lifestyle. Take the stairs; walk more often. However, avoid intense workouts 3 hours before you sleep.
- Adopt a healthy diet. Reduce intake of junk food and fast food. Eat your vegetables.
- Lose weight. Consult a dietitian about losing weight safely.
- Reduce alcohol intake. Skip the alcohol and sleeping pills. Try taking a warm bath or reading a book instead.
- Avoid eating a heavy meal at least 4 hours before you sleep. Give your body time to digest your food before going to bed.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at consistent times daily.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Here are treatment options that you may consider to address sleep apnea. Your doctor may recommend one or a combination of treatments to get back your regular breathing as you sleep.
- A surgery can be performed to remove tonsils and adenoid, make the soft palate stiff, or to tighten tissues in the palate or throat.
- Your doctor may also recommend using a mandibular advancement device to keep your lower jaw in a forward position as you sleep. This will prevent your tongue from obstructing airflow in your mouth.
- You may also discuss the use of continuous positive airway pressure. This involves wearing a mask that helps push air into passageways.
Treating Sleep Apnea in Mississauga
Talk to an expert if you feel you’re experiencing sleep apnea. You may also book an appointment at the dental office for a custom sleep apnea or snoring device. To learn more, please contact our dental team at 905-822-4198. We’re here to help.