It’s okay to have questions about sleep apnea and snoring! These health factors can cause many difficult side effects that can impact your daily living. Here are some commonly asked questions about sleep apnea and snoring.
If you have more questions about snoring and sleep apnea we are happy to answer them! Contact us to get all the answers you need!
What are the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea?
The main symptoms of sleep apnea are:
- Loud snoring
- Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Daytime tiredness
- Restless sleep
- Dry mouth
- Morning headache
What happens if sleep apnea is left untreated?
If it’s not treated, sleep apnea can have long-term consequences for your health. Sleep apnea is associated with:
- An increased risk of high blood pressure
- Heart disease
- A shortened lifespan
Sleep apnea can also be linked to depression, anxiety, memory loss, and drowsy driving. Sleep apnea can lead to serious complications that could not just decrease your quality of life, but can also cause premature death.
How can I test myself for sleep apnea?
There are a couple of different options when testing yourself for sleep apnea. Here at Pickens Family Dentistry, you can use a take-home sleep screening kit. The results will be reviewed by a board-certified sleep physician. A sleep apnea test can also be conducted at a sleep center.
Can Apple Watch detect sleep apnea?
The Apple Watch cannot detect sleep apnea. The Apple Watch is able to detect the quality and length of sleep, but not sleep apnea episodes specifically.
How do I get rid of sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is not technically curable. However, there are many ways to treat sleep apnea and reduce the symptoms and side effects of it. Call our office to consult with Dr. Pickens and find out if one of the following treatments will work for you:
- Sleep apnea oral appliances
- NightLase treatment
- CPAP machine
What are the types of sleep apnea?
There are 3 different types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This is the most common form of sleep apnea. It occurs when there is a functional obstruction in the mouth and throat. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause snoring or gasping for air during sleep.
- Central Sleep Apnea: This type of sleep apnea is neurological. Central sleep apnea is when the brain and nervous system do not consistently send a signal to breathe during sleep. With this type of sleep apnea, some people have no symptoms, and some experience insomnia, waking up short of breath, or daytime sleepiness.
- Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome: This type of sleep apnea combines obstructive sleep apnea with central sleep apnea. Oftentimes complex sleep apnea syndrome is diagnosed because the obstructive sleep apnea is not resolved with an oral appliance or CPAP machine.
Does sleep apnea go away?
Unfortunately, sleep apnea is not something that will clear up on its own. Even though symptoms of sleep apnea can be treated, usually with oral appliances, CPAP machines, and other therapies, the condition is chronic and cannot be cured entirely.
Can sleep apnea be cured naturally?
There are natural ways to help control the symptoms of sleep apnea, but unfortunately, sleep apnea is not able to be cured entirely. Here are some healthy lifestyle choices and natural remedies that have been seen to help manage sleep apnea:
- Keeping a healthy weight and exercising often
- Staying hydrated to reduce nasal congestion
- Changing your sleep position to your side instead of your back
- Using a humidifier when the air is dry
- Avoid alcohol and sedatives, especially close to bedtime
What is the best sleep position for sleep apnea?
Sleeping on your side is proven to be the best position to help with sleep apnea. Sleeping on your side allows for your spine to be in proper alignment and opens your airway.
Can a pillow help with your sleep apnea?
Yes, a pillow can help maintain body position during sleep. It can prevent you from rolling on your back and triggering sleep apnea symptoms. There are also sleep apnea pillows on the market that are designed to help with sleep apnea or are intended to be used with a CPAP mask.
Can skinny people have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can affect anyone, including children. While being overweight does increase your chances of developing sleep apnea, even young and thin people can experience sleep apnea symptoms.
What triggers sleep apnea?
When you have sleep apnea, some triggers can cause the symptoms to present themselves more intensely. Usually, alcohol and sedatives can trigger sleep apnea by relaxing the muscles in your throat which worsens the symptoms of sleep apnea. Sleeping on your back can trigger sleep apnea and cause worse snoring as well.
How long can you live with sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea restricts the amount of oxygen your lungs can take in while you sleep. This can affect your health in many adverse ways. Decreased oxygen intake can drastically affect your cognitive abilities, which puts you at a greater risk of suffering a work or driving-related accident.
If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can shorten your life by 12–15 years.
Can sleep apnea be caused by stress?
The connection between stress and sleep apnea is mostly indirect. Researchers haven’t drawn any clinical connection between stress and sleep apnea.
Is coffee good for sleep apnea?
There have been some studies done to show that there might be a link between caffeine and sleep apnea. If you suffer from sleep apnea and have a caffeine consumption habit, one of the first things you should eliminate is caffeine from your diet. However, a little bit of coffee is usually okay, just try to avoid it close to bedtime.
Contact Us If You Have Any Questions about Sleep Apnea!
We know that it can be confusing and overwhelming trying to understand the ins and outs of sleep apnea. Call us today to schedule an appointment to meet with our dentist so we can help you feel at ease about your sleep apnea questions!