Why Snoring Deserves to be Taken Seriously
Do you or your partner snore? Occasional snoring affects most of us, but persistent snoring could be a sign of a more serious health problem called sleep apnoea. This problem is very common, but less than a third of sufferers are aware they have this condition. It tends to affect middle-aged men the most.
What Causes Sleep Apnoea?
Sleep apnoea is caused by the throat muscles relaxing during sleep, resulting in breathing being temporarily obstructed. Breathing resumes with a loud snort, often several seconds after it ceased. This causes a fall in blood oxygen levels and it can happen many times or even hundreds of times a night. Often sufferers are completely unaware they have this issue and may feel they sleep right through the night. The truth is that they will briefly awaken after each episode of sleep apnoea and as a result will fail to have the deep restorative sleep that is so essential for good health.
The Impact of Sleep Apnoea
Regardless of age, sleep apnoea can have a serious effect on general health, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness which in turn affects the ability to drive safely, as well as impairing the ability to work properly. Even socialising can seem like too much effort when you always feel tired.
Sleep apnoea can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes, as well as coronary heart disease. Drivers with sleep apnoea perform more badly in tests than drivers with blood alcohol limits above the legal drink drive limit. Additionally, those drivers with sleep apnoea are between 7 and 12 times more likely to have a road accident.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea
Common symptoms of sleep apnoea include waking up feeling unrested, even when you went to bed quite early. You may frequently have morning headaches and will feel excessively sleepy or irritable during the day. You might find it difficult to concentrate and may suffer a loss of libido.
How We Can Help
When you visit Ladbroke Grove Dental Care, we can listen to your symptoms before recommending a suitable treatment. One of the easiest ways to treat mild to moderate sleep apnoea is through the use of a custom made mouthguard. Our dentist in Ladbroke Grove can fabricate a comfortable mouthguard for you to wear during sleep. This works by pulling the lower jaw slightly forwards, preventing the throat muscles from collapsing inwards so you can breathe easily. This simple and non-invasive treatment could be all that is required. There are also other treatments that can help with more severe sleep apnoea and we can discuss these with you if needed. You can also try a few things to help this issue. These include ensuring your weight is within a healthy range and avoiding alcohol or caffeine near to bedtime.
If you think you might have sleep apnoea then who not book an appointment with our Ladbroke Grove dentist? Just call us on 020 7727 9836 and discover how we could help you have a more peaceful and restful night’s sleep.