Nearly everyone will snore at one time or another in their lives, but sleep apnea isn't the same thing at all. While people are trying to sleep in the same room as you might describe sleep apnea as loud snoring, it's actually very dangerous, unlike typical snoring. Here's why sleep apnea is such a concern for your health and what you can do to control it easily.
How it Happens
Sleep apnea is essentially a partial or full closure of the windpipe that you need in order to draw air in through your nose or mouth into your lungs. This pipe can be cut off by excessive tissue, weight, or simply from genetics. Some people develop sleep apnea without being overweight in the slightest, while others develop it only after putting on weight. As such, weight is not a good determining factor to find out if you have sleep apnea or snoring.
What it Does
When you go to sleep, the muscles in your throat and neck rest. This allows the skin and tissue in your throat to collapse inward, pushing down on the windpipe. This can cause the airway to partially or fully shut under the weight and stress.
Once this happens, it becomes far more difficult for you to draw oxygen in while you're asleep. After a while, this will typically wake up the sufferer and cause them to take a deep breath before going back to sleep. However, prior to that, serious damage can occur.
Every single part of your body demands oxygen, including your brain. When oxygen is cut off - even for a little while - cell damage or death can occur. In severe cases, untreated sleep apnea can even cause brain damage.
What To Do
If you think you have sleep apnea, your first step is to visit a doctor and sleep clinic to be diagnosed. If you already know that you have it, your next step is to find treatment.
Thankfully, your dentist's office can help with that. Dentists can make a tool called a sleep apnea appliance that prevents your airway from collapsing in your sleep. This is accomplished by putting a small amount of pressure on the jaw, pulling the bottom jaw forward and preventing your airway from having too much pressure put on it as a result.
Sleep apnea must be treated in order to prevent serious health hazards from developing. Talk to a dental office like Leidenheimer Dental Group Inc and get a sleep apnea appliance made for you right away to treat the symptoms of sleep apnea.