What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea Davenport, IA

Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder many people suffer from. Essentially, it is when breathing stops while sleeping. While this is considered a serious medical condition, the consequences of having sleep apnea usually do not pose a health risk. However, sometimes it can be dangerous, so you should always speak to your doctor upon noticing the symptoms. Surprisingly, many people who suffer from this condition do not even realize it. 

What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the throat relax while someone is sleeping, which causes the airway to close. This is also one of the main causes of snoring, although obstructive sleep apnea is more severe. When someone suffers from this condition, the back and the throat and the soft palate pinch together, which closes the airway and prevents air from passing into the lungs through the mouth or the nose.

It is natural for the body to relax while sleeping, but some muscles are not supposed to do so. The muscles in the back of the throat create the support structure in the airway, and if these muscles relax too much, sleep apnea occurs. When this happens, the brain will usually recognize the lack of air and wake the sleeper up, which corrects the blocked airway. It is common not to remember waking up.

Symptoms

Because the condition only manifests when sleeping, it is possible to have sleep apnea and not even realize it. It is easier to recognize when sleeping with a partner or with someone else in the room. Another person may notice the symptoms when the sleeper cannot. In particular, sleep apnea usually causes loud snoring, which can be disruptive for other people trying to sleep. There are other symptoms, some of which may occur while awake:

  • Brief periods of silence while sleeping
  • Nighttime sweating
  • Waking up while gasping or choking
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Waking up with a headache or dry throat
  • Depression or irritability
  • High blood pressure

If you may suffer from this condition, it is important to speak with a doctor immediately. Suffocation is not a risk, but sleep apnea can cause spikes in blood pressure, which can create life-threatening problems. Additionally, it can make it dangerous to receive sedation for any surgeries.

Causes

Sleep apnea is overwhelmingly more likely to occur in overweight individuals. However, it is possible to suffer from it at any weight. Additionally, men are more likely to suffer from it than women, as are people with high blood pressure. Other conditions, such as diabetes or asthma, may also increase the chances of suffering from it.

Treatment

The most common solutions involve using a device while sleeping. This may take the form of a mouthguard or a more complicated electrical device. It may be possible to receive surgery to correct sleep apnea, too. 

Conclusion

People who suspect they may have sleep apnea should speak to a medical professional. Seeking treatment for this condition is important for one's overall health and well-being.

Request an appointment here: https://www.schommerdental.com or call Schommer Dental at (563) 272-2331 for an appointment in our Davenport office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Sleep Apnea in Davenport, IA.

Recent Posts

What Devices Do Dentists Recommend For Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that many people suffer from. As modern medicine has evolved, there are now more options for treating it. Consulting with a dentist regarding sleep apnea is becoming popular because they have a few different treatment routes that patients can take. Dental sleep medicine is a special field that focuses on…

What Can Happen If Sleep Apnea Is Not Treated?

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that causes an involuntary cessation of breathing while you are asleep. The disorder also makes you feel tired even after a full night’s rest. There are three main types of sleep apnea: central, obstructive and complex.Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of the disorder and occurs when…

Why Preventative Dental Care Is So Important

Regular preventative dental care is important. It can help you get an early diagnosis of potential cavities, so you can focus on giving those areas more attention. Regular dental cleanings can help remove plaque so there is not the chance of hardened plaque buildup occurring. Preventative dental care from a trusted dentist can save you…

Common Questions About Implant Supported Dentures

When it comes to replacing a full dental arch with implant supported dentures, patients often have many questions about the process. This article answers some commonly asked questions about implant dentures.The structure of implant supported dentures is exactly as the name sounds; a full denture supported by dental implants. The implants are titanium posts placed…

Recent Posts

Common Questions About Implant Supported Dentures

Common Questions About Implant Supported Dentures

When it comes to replacing a full dental arch with implant supported dentures, patients often have many questions about the process. This article answers some commonly asked questions about implant dentures.The structure of implant supported dentures is exactly as the name sounds; a full denture supported by dental implants. The implants are titanium posts placed…

When A Simple Tooth Extraction Is Recommended

When A Simple Tooth Extraction Is Recommended

Simple extraction and surgical extraction are the two kinds of tooth extraction. Read on to learn more about this type of dental procedure. Simple tooth extraction is done on a tooth above the gums and does not involve splitting the tooth into sections or using surgical procedures.If a tooth has suffered damage due to an…

See Your Financing Options