Brentwood patient asks, “What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?”

Quality sleep is essential for overall mental and physical health, safety, and quality of life. In addition to ensuring that an individual feels rested and alert during the day, sleep is required for the human body to perform many functions, such as:

  • Helping the brain to work properly, forming pathways to assist learning, problem solving, decision making, emotional wellbeing, and creativity
  • Supporting necessary growth and development
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Healing, repairing, and maintaining healthy heart and blood vessels
  • Controlling insulin and other hormones
  • Allowing daytime productivity and optimal performance in work, school, or other endeavors

Sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, can cause sleep deficiency, which can lead to increased risk for accidents, poor performance, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and depression.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea and occurs when an individual stops breathing during sleep. When breathing is interrupted, perhaps up to hundreds of times through the sleep cycle, the brain and organs may be deprived of vital oxygen. Sleep apnea is caused by an airway blockage, typically the collapse of soft tissues in the back of the throat.

While sleep apnea may affect any individual at any age, people with certain characteristics may be at higher risk for the disorder, including:

  • Men
  • Over 40 years of age
  • Overweight
  • Larger neck sizes
  • Family history of sleep disorders
  • Deviated septum, sinus conditions, allergies, or other nasal blockage
  • Large tonsils or tongue
  • Small jaw
  • Gastroesophageal reflux

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea may include:

  • Snoring
  • Awakening with a gasp or choking sensation
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Dry or sore throat upon rising
  • Restlessness during sleep
  • Insomnia or frequent awakening
  • Loss of libido
  • Forgetfulness or mood changes
  • Headaches upon awakening

Many people are affected by sleep apnea without being aware of the condition. Often, the partner of the individual mentions the symptoms such as snoring, gasping, or choking.

At Brentwood Family Dental, located in Brentwood, CA, and serving patients from Byron, Discovery Bay, Antioch, Oakley, and surrounding neighborhoods, Dr. Jamil Alkhoury is a recognized and respected dentist with extensive training and experience. After a comprehensive consultation, Dr. Alkhoury may recommend a sleep study in our office, which has been certified for OSA scoring and diagnosis. If a patient is diagnosed with OSA, a customized plan of care will be developed, which may include a comfortable and effective Medibyte oral airway appliance. This alternative to CPAP treatment maintains an open airway, allowing the patient to breathe easier by moving the jaw in such a way as to maximize optimal flow of oxygen.

For more information about sleep apnea, contact our professional team at Brentwood Family Dental today at 925-344-5296.
Last Updated - September 2015

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