Symptoms of sleep apnoea
If you find yourself waking up numerous times in the middle of the night gasping for air then you might be among the hundreds of people suffering from sleep apnoea in Sydney. What exactly is this condition though and what does it mean for people going through it? More importantly what are the treatment options available? These all are perfectly good questions especially if you’ve never heard of such a condition before.
Now sleep apnoea is generally defined as a condition wherein a person experiences irregularities in their breathing pattern whilst asleep. This often jolts people wide awake; some experience it more than a hundred times each night without even remembering it. Excessive snoring is one of the common symptoms of sleep apnoea and prominent among middle-aged men with weight problems although it can also occur at a younger age, even children. It can also affect women although less frequently compared to men.
What causes sleep apnoea?
The most common and widely accepted cause of sleep apnoea is obesity although it may also be a behavioural issue as is often the case when it comes to sleep apnoea in children. Respiratory problems like asthma may also be a contributing factor particularly in cases of obstructive sleep apnoea.
In any case, people that suffer from sleep apnoea are often unable to sleep, simply because the condition keeps them from entering the deep stages of the sleeping cycle for very long. This can cause sleep deprivation, hypertension and increased risk of cardiovascular problems – heart attack, stroke, etc.
Why is snoring a sign of sleep apnoea?
Often dismissed as a mere annoyance, persistent snoring can actually be a sign of sleep apnoea, particularly when it involves brief breathing pauses and gasping, almost as if the person is choking. This occurs due to involuntary obstructions in the breathing cycle during sleep which is definitely a cause for concern.
What is the test for sleep apnoea?
Dentists are often one of the first health professionals to detect cases of sleep apnoea from patients complaining of dry mouth, headache and fatigue. They are then referred to “sleep doctors” who can confirm the diagnosis with a test called nocturnal polysomnography. The patient is connected to a device that closely monitors brain, heart and lung activity during sleep recording breathing patterns, movements and cardiovascular functions.
Can you cure sleep apnoea?
Yes you can and it’s not as difficult as you might think. One solution is to lose weight particularly if obesity is the suspected cause for the condition. Patients are also advised to sleep on their side and avoid vices like smoking and alcohol which can further aggravate sleep apnoea. In many cases, wearing a dental appliance that is similar to a mouth guard can also help rectify such problems by ensuring that the body’s airways are open and free from involuntary obstruction during sleep. The latter is widely regarded as a more natural treatment for sleep apnea in children as opposed to nasal masks and even surgery.
Would you like to learn more? Call “Dentist and Co” today on 02 9810 3044 and get all the help you need when it comes to dealing with sleep apnoea in Sydney!