Sleep apnea is a condition that affects many people even without their awareness. Some individuals only associate it with loud, disruptive snoring. Very often they don’t grasp how serious this condition can be. This lack of understanding can have life-altering effects on both the sufferers and their loved ones. In many cases this is because the affected party doesn’t seek treatment to deal with the condition conclusively. In fact, too often people “just learn to live with it.” Sometimes, with life-threatening complications.
First of all, what is it?
As defined by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Sleep Apnea is “a common disorder which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.” Such disruptions in breathing may last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, and may occur 30 times or more in an hour. Unsurprisingly, this condition results in a poor quality of sleep and leads to increased episodes of daytime sleepiness. Read more at Power of Positivity…
Obviously, the first effect of interrupted sleep is lack of rest and drowsy days, as the post above describes. You already know that if you do have such nights, your whole life is affected. The first step you can take in this journey is to understand the different types of sleep apnea. The following post gives a good explanation:
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three main types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive sleep apnea: This is the most common type of sleep apnea. It happens when muscles in the back of your throat fail to keep the airway open.
Central sleep apnea: In this form of sleep apnea, the brain doesn’t send the proper signals to control breathing while you sleep.
Complex, or “mixed,” sleep apnea syndrome: This condition has characteristics of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Read more at Everyday Health…
It is critical to determine which type of sleep apnea you are suffering from, since the different types require different remedies. Your physician should be able to help you with this.
At this point you may be wondering what causes sleep apnea and whether there is anything you can do about it. There are actually several causes of this condition. The following post goes into greater detail:
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
In people with sleep apnea, the airway becomes blocked, limiting the amount of air that reaches the lungs.
This can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as:
- Your throat muscles and tongue relax more than usual
- Your tonsils and tongue are large compared with the opening of your windpipe. Read more at Everyday Health…
The post above provides solid information, however, it fails to mention one of the most overlooked causes of sleep apnea — disorders of the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) in the jaws. Problems in the TMJs can cause sleep apnea, as explained in the following post:
It’s only recently been understood that sleep apnea disorder can be caused in part by TMJs. TMJs are responsible for the breathing problems of some people with sleep apnea. The sleeping problems that result from this disorder can dramatically impact the quality of life of the people that suffer from it. Read more at lach-ortho.com
The good news is that TMJ dysfunction can be corrected at Fort Collins Headache Center. We utilize a breakthrough system for diagnosis and treatment called TruDenta that is powerful, yet involves no drugs, needles or pain.
Book a consultation exam with Dr. Jared Ward today to see if you are a candidate for our cutting-edge therapy. If you are, we will create a treatment plan for you that will have you symptom free with just 12 or fewer weekly visits. Call Fort Collins Headache Center at 970-672-8517 or use the contact form on this page. We look forward to hearing from you.
Featured Image Courtesy of Flickr