Patients who live with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may not realize the danger they are causing by not treating their condition. If your sleep is being disrupted because of low blood oxygen levels, other problems can arise, including heart problems.
Without enough deep sleep you may be sleepy, lack mental sharpness and be less productive. Long term health effects can be serious, including weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that limits the amount of oxygen you receive while you sleep. This occurs because your passageway is being obstructed. This condition is often associated with snoring because the sound that your body makes while snoring is a signal to an obstructed airway. When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue falls to the back of the throat, blocking the upper airway and slowing or stopping airflow. Once the oxygen level in your brain drops, the person sleeping then startles awake to take a breath. This only partially wakes the person, enough to disrupt their sleep, but no so much to fully rouse them. This means that the sleeper is not getting the full rest they need and that they many not be aware of the problem.
Sleep Apnea and Hypertension
There has been a strong correlation of patients who suffer from sleep apnea and developing hypertension, or heart disease. By experiencing repeated incidents of dips in oxygen, studies have found that there is strong evidence toward developing heart related issues and other cardiovascular problems. When the brain has a dip in oxygen it sends signals through the nervous system telling your blood vessels to tighten in order to increase the flow of oxygen to the heart and the brain, because they have priority in your system. Doing this repeatedly is problematic.
Sleep Apnea and Exhaustion
Exhaustion is a common ailment of patients who suffer with sleep apnea. Even though they do not realize it, their sleep is being constantly disrupted, not allowing them to get the full rest they need. Patient’s who feel like they have slept a full eight hours have really slept a very disrupted eight hours. A common complaint among our sleep apnea patients is crankiness, moodiness, and just overall chronic exhaustion.
Do I have Sleep Apnea?
In most situations, a partner is the first to spot signs of sleep apnea. They are often your best source for details about how you sleep. Signs that you can look for include constant feels of exhaustion, waking with a dry mouth from snoring all night, you frequently wake with headaches, or have problems with high blood pressure. Dr. McMurray can help you spot the signs with an evaluation.
How can an oral surgeon help me with sleep apnea?
There are numerous techniques used to control sleep apnea and get the rest that you need. At South Valley Oral and Facial Surgery, we will evaluate the situation and make suggestions based on each patient. It is always our preference to start out in the least invasive way and then move forward to finding the right procedure for you.
We want to provide you the sound sleep that you need, while still getting the oxygen you need. For more information on sleep apnea, contact our Oral Surgeon, Joseph C. McMurray, DMD, MBA Inc. His staff is here to assist you. We proudly offer two office locations to better serve your needs. San Jose - (408) 479-9449 Gilroy - (408) 479-8788