Obstructive sleep apnoea occurs when the airways collapse throughout the night.
If you suspect that your sleep quality is poor and you often wake up in the morning feeling tired, it is possible that you have a condition known as obstructive sleep apnoea. The condition occurs when the airways collapse regularly during sleep and causes periods of decreased oxygen to the brain. This, in turn, leads to daytime fatigue, as well as a range of other symptoms and side-effects.
If left untreated, sleep apnoea can lead to a number of serious health concerns, including hypertension and heart disease. But what causes the condition? And what can you do to resolve it? Read on to find out more about sleep apnoea and why it is so important to be properly diagnosed and treated…
What is obstructive sleep apnoea?
Obstructive sleep apnoea is a condition in which breathing stops for brief but regular periods throughout sleep. The issue occurs when the airways are obstructed in some way and can cause a number of symptoms. These include chronic headaches; irritability; and snoring. Daytime drowsiness is another concern often associated with sleep apnoea.
What causes sleep apnoea?
The most common type of sleep apnoea, obstructive sleep apnoea occurs when the airways are obstructed or narrowed. There are a number of factors that can increase one’s risk of airway obstruction, including physical features like large tonsils and adenoids; a larger than average neck; a particularly large tongue; a narrow palate; an airway that is prone to collapsing; and a lower jaw that is shorter than the upper jaw.
Being overweight or obese is also another major risk factor for obstructive sleep apnoea.
What are the treatment options?
Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which sleep apnoea can be addressed. The main goal of any sleep apnoea treatment is to resolve an obstruction of the airway and to ensure that airflow moves as it should.
In many cases, lifestyle changes like weight loss can go a long way in resolving the symptoms of sleep apnoea. If excess weight is an issue for you, it may be helpful to address this as a starting point.
Some common treatment options for sleep apnoea include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which involves the use of a face mask that delivers positive airflow and keeps the airways open at night; positional therapy, in which one is trained to sleep in new positions; and mandibular advancement splints, which change the position of the jaw to keep the airway open during sleep.
In severe cases, surgical intervention may be recommended to remove excess tissue from the throat or to correct certain structural issues that are causing an obstruction or narrowing of the airway.
How can we help?
If you often wake up feeling tired, it could be a sign that you have sleep apnoea. At Dental Pearls, we offer sleep apnoea treatment and care to help improve our patients’ overall wellness.
One of the treatments that we offer to our patients with sleep apnoea is a mandibular advancement splint. These devices are custom-made and designed to fit into the mouth much like a mouthguard. Worn during sleep, mandibular advancement splints work by adjusting the position of the jaw in order to prevent the airway from closing.
If you would like to find out more about sleep apnoea and how our team can help to resolve your symptoms, please have a look here.
If you would like to arrange a consultation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here or give us a call on (07) 3210 2144.
We also offer a comprehensive range of other treatments, including cosmetic, emergency, general, preventative, and restorative dentistry. If you would like to find out more about the services that we provide at the Dental Pearls practice in Brisbane, please have a look here. We look forward to welcoming you and helping to improve your overall health.