What is Sleep Disordered Breathing?
Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is essentially any breathing problems that occur while you sleep. One of the mildest forms of SDB is snoring. Snoring is actually just loud breathing that occurs from a collapsed airway when sleeping.
If you’re snoring at night and the airway collapses enough to interrupt your sleeping, this then progresses to an Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome.
The most serious form of SDB is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), where the airway completely collapses during sleep. When you experience an apnea, you stop breathing altogether. This alerts your brain to wake you up to start breathing again. This cycle can occur hundreds of times throughout the night, making it impossible for someone to get a restful night of sleep. Unfortunately, most people don’t even know they stop breathing in their sleep unless a sleeping partner has told them. This is why it’s important to look at the other symptoms of sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
There are more symptoms to look out for than just snoring alone. Pay attention if you experience any of the following symptoms of sleep apnea:
- Choking, gasping, snorting to catch breath during sleep
- Waking up with a sore throat, dry mouth or headache
- Lack of energy during the day
- Mood changes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble staying asleep
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to visit a physician to request a sleep test. The sleep test will monitor you while you sleep to confirm if you have sleep apnea or not. We’re happy to recommend a place to have yourself tested if you’re unsure. Once you obtain your sleep test results, we will work collaboratively with your physician to determine the best treatment.
The Dangers of OSA
When you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, you stop breathing for 10 seconds at a time repeatedly throughout the night. Sleep apnea steals away your oxygen and sleep which can result in feeling sleep deprived during the day. The lack of oxygen can lead to much bigger consequences.
The following are conditions that sleep apnea are linked with:
- Heart attack
- Sexual dysfunction
- Type II diabetes
- Death/injury from accidents from sleepiness
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart failure
When you don’t treat your sleep apnea, it can lead to these consequences and conditions.
Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatment
Whether you suffer from sleep apnea or you snore throughout the night, Bite Align has treatment options that can help you sleep better and quieter so you don’t disturb your sleep partners.
Some treatment options include wearing an oral appliance (we use a DNA appliance), CPAP, surgery, or natural solutions. If you suffer from sleep apnea, we will most likely recommend starting with wearing an oral appliance at night.
The DNA appliance works differently than traditional oral appliances. Most oral appliances hold your lower jaw forward so that the airway doesn’t collapse at night, DNA appliance does this too but also works to reshape your jaw so that your airway stays naturally open. With this solution, you won’t have to wear the DNA appliance over time. This solution also works for patients who suffer from snoring without sleep apnea.
In addition to wearing the DNA appliance, you can make lifestyle changes to help with your snoring. This can include losing weight if you’re not currently at a healthy weight, sleeping on your side, using allergy medicine or decongestants, and not drinking alcohol.
If you’re ready to wake up feeling more energized and stop snoring for good, please contact Bite Align for sleep apnea and snoring treatment in Fort Atkinson. Please call (920) 563-7323 to schedule a consultation. We look forward to improving your life!