Submitted by Dr. Roberto Palmieri, Palmieri  Dentistry,

Do you find yourself having trouble sleeping at night? Do you wake up often and have trouble getting back to sleep? Does your partner complain that you keep them awake at night with your snoring? If any of these scenarios sounds familiar, you may have a chronic respiratory condition called obstructive sleep apnea. During sleep apnea attacks, your throat collapses and blocks oxygen to your upper airway, depriving your brain and lungs.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Snoring is one of the first and most common symptoms of sleep apnea, but there are several others you may not immediately recognizes:

  • Low quality of sleep (trouble falling asleep or waking up often)
  • Low energy levels
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Headaches or a sore throat in the morning

Health Problems from Sleep Apnea

Leaving sleep apnea untreated can be incredibly dangerous because it can lead to a number of serious health problems:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Weight gain
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Car accidents

Possible Causes of Sleep Apnea

There is no one specific cause of sleep apnea, and not everyone with the usual underlying conditions develops sleep apnea. But there are multiple factors that can increase your risk of developing it:

  • Being overweight or obese (especially in the neck and upper belly)
  • Having a deviated septum
  • Being a man
  • Being a menopausal woman
  • Being over the age of 40
  • Having a large neck, tongue, or tonsils
  • Having acid reflux
  • Having sinus or other respiratory restrictions

Even if you haven’t yet developed sleep apnea, we strongly recommend being observant about your sleep patterns if you have one or more of these typical underlying conditions. Doing your best to prevent sleep apnea and recognizing the symptoms will save you a lot of pain later on.

If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, we urge you to come in for a consultation. Dr. Palmieri can identify signs of sleep apnea and recommend a comprehensive course of action. Don’t let your sleep apnea affect other areas of your life. Book your appointment online today or call us at (704) 247-6336. Let us help you sleep better and live better!