I don’t snore! Or so you may think. Chances are that if someone has told you that you are snoring, they are probably right. Statistically, almost 50% of us snore sometimes and 1/3 of us snore consistently. Those are big numbers and this affects millions of Americans each year. While snoring can be an annoying habit that can make it hard for loved ones to sleep near you, it also can be a sign of a more serious condition.
Sleep apnea is defined by webmd.com as "a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain -- and the rest of the body -- may not get enough oxygen.”
Sleep apnea is a very serious condition and it is one that many people blow off and do not take seriously. Some signs that you might be suffering from sleep apnea are:
- you are feel consistently tired, even after a ‘full night’s sleep’
- you wake up frequently during the night
- you snore heavily and never feel that you sleep well
- you are groggy during the day and have trouble being productive.
The best thing to do if you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea is to have a sleep study done. This allows medical professionals to determine if you do have sleep apnea, what type you have and how best to treat you.
One of the most common treatments of sleep apnea is a CPAP mask. This mask continually blows air through your airway to ensure that you don’t stop breathing. The downside to this treatment is that it is big, bulky and can make noise while you sleep. In addition, for some people who toss and turn, it doesn’t stay on their face while they sleep. While this treatment is still the most recommended treatment from people suffering from sleep apnea, there is also a dental appliance which many people can benefit from.
This dental appliance is just that: an appliance that goes in your mouth. It is usually recommended for those patients who the CPAP doesn't work for, or for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Many patients find much relief from this appliance and it drastically improves their quality of life. Increased productivity, healthier eating and an improved mood have all been reported by people who are successfully treating their sleep apnea.
If you think you, or a loved one, are suffering from sleep apnea, or if you have a severe case of snoring, contact your doctor or dentist and talk about how you could treat it. There are dental appliances that can help with both!