If you find yourself waking up feeling groggy or fatigued throughout the day, or if your partner has mentioned loud snoring or instances of you gasping for breath during the night, you might be wondering if sleep apnea is the culprit.
Although a sleep study is the only way to know for sure if you have sleep apnea 一 and if do, what kind of sleep apnea you have 一 Melissa Daza, DDS, and Michelle Schwartz, DDS, want you to be aware of the warning signs of sleep apnea. Left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart problems, and mood issues.
Here are the signs you might have sleep apnea and the potential treatments here at Bucktown Wicker Park Dental.
Your sleep is interrupted
Pay attention to your sleep habits. Poor sleep and frequent wake-ups can be signs of sleep apnea. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I often wake up abruptly, feeling short of breath?
- Am I frequently tossing and turning throughout the night?
- Do I wake up to go to the bathroom several times?
- Do I wake up feeling unrefreshed and tired?
These disruptions could be indicative of sleep apnea.
You’re always tired
When your sleep is constantly interrupted, your body can’t repair and rest overnight. This means you might feel tired all the time 一 no matter how early you go to bed.
You snore more often than not
Though occasional snoring is normal, persistent and loud snoring can be a red flag for sleep apnea. If your bed partner mentions your snoring or reports episodes of you stopping and starting breathing, it's time to investigate further.
In severe cases, you might even wake yourself up snoring!
You always wake up with a headache
Frequent morning headaches 一 especially those accompanied by a dry mouth 一 can be a symptom of sleep apnea. The disruptions in your breathing during the night may lead to a decrease in oxygen levels and contribute to these headaches.
You have other sleep apnea risk factors
Certain factors increase the likelihood of developing sleep apnea. Being overweight, having a family history of the condition, smoking, or having a neck circumference larger than average are all potential risk factors.
What can you do about sleep apnea?
Even before you visit our Bucktown Wicker Park Dental office, there are some strategies you can follow to help alleviate some symptoms of sleep apnea. Most notably, refrain from sleeping flat on your back. This position can exacerbate your symptoms. Try sleeping on your side instead.
Alcohol can make sleep apnea worse, so avoid alcoholic drinks if possible. Other lifestyle changes include maintaining a healthy weight and smoking cessation (if applicable).
Here at Bucktown Wicker Park Dental, our team offers several dental treatments to help address your symptoms, including:
- Oral myofunctional therapy
- Custom-made dental appliances to hold your jaw in a position that opens your airway opens
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, listen to your body and seek professional care. These treatments, along with lifestyle modifications, can help reduce the number of apneas you experience each night. Not only does this improve your quality of sleep, but it also helps you have the serious complications of untreated sleep apnea.
Take action today! Make an appointment in our Chicago, Illinois, office to explore your treatment options today.