The ability to rest peacefully throughout the night is valuable to your physical and mental health. If you have obstructive sleep apnea in Arlington Heights, then you’re left feeling tired and depleted far too often. Your sleep dentist says there are other forms of sleep apnea that can also inhibit your rest and hinder your daily functions. Learn about the different types of this condition as you continue reading.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Explained
The most common type of sleep apnea, OSA refers to the recurring pauses in your breathing while sleeping due to a partial blockage of your airway. Here are the two main contributors to this condition:
- The tongue falls to the back of the mouth while you sleep and partially blocks the throat.
- There is increased girth in the neck area that causes the throat to partially close while you sleep.
The obstructions lead to momentary pauses in breathing that trigger the nervous system to awaken you. Because this can happen repeatedly throughout the night, you’re left feeling lethargic the next day.
What is Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)?
A less frequently seen form of sleep apnea is CSA, which is the result of the brain failing to communicate with the muscles responsible for controlling breathing. A condition that affects roughly 20% of the people with sleep apnea, it is more common among those who have pre-existing health challenges like heart disease, stroke or Parkinson’s disease.
Is it Possible to Have Both Forms of Sleep Apnea?
People who suffer from a combination of both forms of sleep apnea have mixed sleep apnea (MSA). A remedy for treating this and the other types of sleep apnea is to wear a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.
The unit consists of a mask that is attached, via a tube, to a base unit that pumps air into the throat during the sleep cycle. For many patients, though, the machine can be cumbersome and loud, so your dentist offers the alternative of an oral appliance that helps to shift the jaw to keep the airway open.
I Think I Have Sleep Apnea – What Now?
If you’ve noticed symptoms like daytime lethargy, loud snoring, morning headaches, an inability to focus or mood swings, then you may have sleep apnea. The first step is to bring your concerns to your primary physician’s attention so you can undergo a sleep study.
If the results are positive for sleep apnea, then reach out to your dentist to receive sleep dentistry in Arlington Heights. By being proactive and seeking help, you can get the valuable rest you need so you can enjoy a healthier and more functional life.
About the Author
Dr. Brian Zulawinski earned his dental degree from the Indiana University School of Dentistry. Since then, he has remained steadfast in his efforts to expand his knowledge by taking continuing education courses in the treatment of sleep apnea. A member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Zulawinski provides treatment for all forms of sleep apnea at Sleep Better, and he can be reached for more information through his website.