Apnea is a disorder of respiration that takes place while you are sleeping and it provokes a deficiency of the intake of oxigen in your body. It can cause multiple health problems
During your sleep the muscles of your throat relax, which means that the wind pipe is being narrowed. In some cases the wind pipe can get blocked completely, which naturally means that air cannot get correctly to the lungs and the brain does not receive enough oxygen. Strong snoring occurs with temporary breathing interruptions of sometimes 10 seconds. These interruptions are called apneas.
After apnea occurs the person wakes up suddenly to be able to catch his/her breath, but sleep has been disrupted and is never very deep, resulting in a lack of night rest. Due to this circumstance the person manifests sleepiness during the day, which can be extremely dangerous for certain activities, for instance when driving a car.
It is known that certain factors cause apnea and pathological snoring, among others:
- People over 40 years.
- Certain morphology of the throat, palate and jaw and also the size of the tongue.
- Drinking alcohol.
- Nasal obstruction.
Generally speaking the people who are affected by the disorder are not aware of it, being the relatives who notice the snoring and the respiratory interruptions during the night.
- The main symptoms of apnea are:
- Sleepiness an tiredness during the day (the sensation of not having slept well)
- Morning headaches, apathy and loss of memory
Waking up frequently during the night, insomnia.
Although there are a variety of clear symptoms that indicate apnea, the confirmation of the diagnosis can be obtained through a study of the sleeping habits, called Polysomnograph.
There are basically two options to treat this problem:
- Surgery (severe cases)
- Using dental devices (inter-oral retainers) that optimize the jaw movements and reposition the tongue (recommended in light to medium cases, and also for patients whose innocuous snoring bothers their surroundings.
In our practice we elaborate intra-oral dispositions of very good results in order to diminish the discomfort caused by apnea and habitual snoring.
TEST: In order to know whether you suffer from this disorder we suggest you to answer the following questions.
- Do you have a high blood pressure?
- Do the persons who sleep near you complain about your snoring or has a respiratory interruption been noted?
- Did your snoring begin at an early age?
- Do you feel tired during the day without an apparent cause?
- Do you feel tired when you get up in the morning?
- Do you fall asleep at moments that you take a rest? ( watching TV or reading)
- Do you ever fall asleep while driving a car?
- Do you snore every night without having consumed alcohol?
If the majority of the answers are affirmative you may suffer from a respiratory disorder during your sleep.
Recommendations to avoid the factors that aggravate this type of disorder.
- Person with overweight should lose weight.
- Do not drink alcohol, especially at night or late afternoon.
- Do not use sleeping pills or tranquillizers.
- Keep control of your heart and blood vessels.
- Keep a regular sleeping schedule.