What are the First Signs of Sleep Apnea?
The most common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is loud snoring, often noticed by your sleep partner first. However, not everyone who snores has OSA.
Each sufferer of OSA experiences different symptoms, ranging from mild to more severe signs. Diagnosing yours or a loved one’s sleep apnea can be done by visiting a sleep specialist for an overnight sleep study. Our team can help you find the right doctor to receive a proper diagnosis.
Common symptoms of OSA to look out for include:
- Loud, disruptive snoring
- Daytime sleepiness
- Gasping for air at night
- Excessive daytime fatigue
- Memory loss
- Unusual moodiness or irritability
- Frequent urination at night
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth
Common Risk Factors of OSA
Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age. Although not as common in younger patients, OSA may still affect children. Here at our Basalt dental office, we typically see older patients with sleep apnea because they’re at a higher risk than others.
Men are also two to three times more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than women. Although, the risk for women increases if they’re obese or going through menopause.
Other common risk factors of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Large neck circumference
- A narrowed airway
- Family history
- Overuse of alcohol or sedatives
- Smoking tobacco
- Nasal congestion
Untreated OSA Can Lead to Major Health Risks
Ignoring your sleep apnea or putting off treatment for your condition may not seem like a big deal at the moment, but it can become detrimental to your health in the long run.
Nearly 80 percent of moderate to severe OSA cases go undiagnosed, resulting in major health risks or sometimes the loss of life.
Some major health complications often associated with OSA include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Irregular heartbeats
- Type 2 diabetes
- Liver problems
- Erectile & sexual dysfunction
Frequently Asked Questions
What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a sleep-breathing disorder in which a person’s breathing is stopped multiple times throughout the night due to blocked airways.
Sleep apnea occurs when the tongue or throat tissues relax and block the airway during sleep, preventing a person from getting the oxygen they need. Here at Elevate Dental Wellness, we can help clear the obstruction in your throat with a small, convenient oral appliance.
What are the common symptoms of sleep apnea?
Common signs of sleep apnea include: snoring, frequent breaks in breathing, daytime sleepiness or fatigue, morning headaches, restless sleep, depression, frequent nighttime urination, and irritability.
If any of these symptoms are apparent in your life or a loved one’s, find a local sleep physician to help identify your possible disorder with a sleep study. If you’re unsure where to find a specialist, call our Basalt office and we can help connect you with one or provide you with an at-home sleep test.
What are the risks of untreated sleep apnea?
If you leave sleep apnea untreated, it can result in a number of serious health issues. These may include risks such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression.
You shouldn’t wait to receive a proper diagnosis for sleep apnea or ignore your symptoms. If you suspect you or a loved one has OSA, please give us or your local doctor a call to receive a sleep study.
What can increase the risk of developing sleep apnea?
There are a variety of factors that can increase the risk of developing sleep apnea. These may include obesity, age, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, frequent alcohol consumption, and smoking.
Other uncontrollable factors that may play a role in developing sleep apnea include heredity and physical traits such as a large neck or family history.
Discover Treatment Today in Aspen & Basalt, CO
The first step to improving your health and saving your life is seeking a sleep study from a nearby sleep specialist serving Aspen, Basalt, and surrounding areas. Once you’ve been officially diagnosed, you’ll initially be prescribed a CPAP machine.
If you’re unhappy with your CPAP because of its inconvenience, bulkiness, and loud noise, then Drs. Van Gorden and Steinbach can offer you a smaller, more comfortable solution — a customized oral appliance.
In as little as a week, you’ll see an improvement in your daytime energy, happiness, quality of sleep, and life after using an oral appliance. Contact Elevate Dental Wellness today to schedule an appointment.