Sleep Apnea Explained

Have you noticed or been told that you snore loudly at night? Loud snoring, especially accompanied by daytime fatigue, may be a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by short breathing pauses, or when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts as you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type of sleep apnea, occurs when the airway is blocked. The sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea can result in daytime sleepiness, slow reflexes, poor concentration, and increased risk of accidents. It can also cause moodiness, irritability, and may lead to depression. Health problems that may arise due to sleep apnea include diabetes, heart disease, liver problems, and weight gain. 

Types of Sleep Apnea

  • Obstructive: occurs when the soft tissue in the back of the throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, causing loud snoring
  • Central: involves the central nervous system and occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing; seldom accompanied by snoring
  • Complex: a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea

Signs & Symptoms

Since signs of sleep apnea occur when you are asleep, it can be tough to identify on your own. Ask a bed partner to observe you, or record yourself during sleep. Major warning signs include the following:

  • Loud, chronic snoring almost every night
  • Choking, snorting, gasping during sleep
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Shortness of breath during the night
  • Daytime sleepiness and fatigue

Sleep Apnea or Snoring?

You may wonder whether you have sleep apnea or if you are just a snorer. The best way to tell is to consider how you feel during the day. Normal snoring does not interfere with the quality of sleep you get as much as sleep apnea does. Normal snorers are less likely to suffer from extreme fatigue and sleepiness in the daytime. 

Jacksonville Dental Care

At Jacksonville Dental Care, we know that sleep apnea affects millions of people – and that many of them don’t even realize it! Imagine if you could stop snoring, stop feeling daytime fatigue, and start sleeping soundly… A good night’s sleep may be closer than you think! Plus, we may be able to offer an alternative to uncomfortable CPAP masks. Why wait another moment to meet an understanding Jacksonville sleep apnea dentist? Call Jacksonville Dental Care at (910) 455-2151 or complete our simple online form to schedule a consultation.