A Night with Sleep Apnea, and Why It’s Easy to Miss

Some chronic conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), aren’t always obvious, despite their sometimes significant impacts on patients’ daily lives and systemic wellbeing. For example, if you suffer from sleep apnea, then the telltale signs of it, such as chronic snoring, can seem like minor things. Because of this, it can be easy to overlook the signs of sleep apnea until the symptoms of it begin to more noticeable impacts on other areas of your wellbeing. Today, we explore what a night of sleep apnea can look like, and why it’s important to pay attention to potential symptoms of it.

Your breathing pattern when you have sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder, which means it interrupts your breathing pattern while you sleep. This, in turn, interrupts your sleep cycle, making it difficult or impossible for your brain and body to complete the transition into deep levels of sleep. At first, these interruptions may have a minimal impact, and most sleep apnea episodes don’t wake you enough to notice them. However, each time your airway becomes clogged and your breathing stops, the interruption to your breathing and sleep cycles can cause your body to struggle and lead to symptoms related to chronic sleep deprivation.

The struggles of constantly clearing your airway

When you sleep, the muscles and tissues in your mouth and throat relax like the rest your body. Typically, they have ample room to relax without causing problems. Yet, in some cases, they can collapse into your airway, making it more difficult for you to breathe in the amount of oxygen your brain and body need. This can be the case for many chronic snorers, but for people who have sleep apnea, the obstruction can continue until it has completely blocked the airway. As you stop breathing for a moment, your brain and body can panic and wake themselves enough to clear your airway, stopping them from resting properly and reaching the deep levels of sleep they need to rest and rejuvenate properly.

How to keep your airway clear with an oral appliance

Recognizing that you have sleep apnea can be difficult until you start to notice signs that you aren’t sleeping well. This can include daytime drowsiness and exhaustion, trouble concentrating, heightened irritability, and more. For many people, however, dealing with sleep apnea once it’s been diagnosed can be simpler than they expect. With a custom-designed sleep appliance, many patients can comfortably keep their airways clear while they sleep, preventing the airway obstruction that leads to sleep apnea.

Learn more about having sleep apnea

Having sleep apnea can affect the quality of your sleep each night in increasingly more severe ways. To learn more, call our Cleveland Family Dentistry office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234.