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Sleep Apnea Frequently Asked Questions – Longview, TX

Treat Sleep Apnea for Better Rest and Health

What is Sleep Apnea?

Couple cuddling in bedSleep apnea is a medical condition that causes sufferers to temporarily stop breathing during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea. One happens when the brain does not properly signal muscles that control breathing. This is called central sleep apnea. The other is obstructive sleep apnea, which is caused when muscle and tissue in the throat block your airway.

Is One Form More Common Than the Other?

Yes. Obstructive sleep apnea happens much more often. Men are more susceptible than women, but every now and then even a child can be diagnosed with OSA. Generally speaking, people that are overweight or frequently consume alcoholic beverages are more likely to develop sleep apnea.

What Symptoms Indicate Sleep Apnea?

The most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. Why? Because tissues that are blocking your airway vibrate as you try to breathe. The vibration causes snoring, but this annoying sound does not necessarily indicate sleep apnea. Let your dentist in Longview evaluate your condition.

Other common signs and symptoms include:

Man snoring, wife blocking ears
  • A headache when you wake in the morning
  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
  • Frequently needing to urinate during the night
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability

Are There Other Risks with Sleep Apnea?

If sleep apnea only interrupted your sleep, then that would be trouble enough. But the condition has been linked to other serious health issues including high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and diabetes.

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

sleep apnea oral applianceA CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine was long the only option for people with sleep apnea. While sleeping, users wear a mask over the nose and mouth that forces air into the airway. Unfortunately, the mask can be uncomfortable for some people, and traveling with a CPAP machine can be inconvenient.

Luckily, there is now an alternative. Many people find relief wearing a custom-fitted oral appliance that slightly shifts the lower jaw forward. This small movement keeps your tongue and the other soft tissue in your throat from falling back and blocking your airway. Most people find this device much more comfortable than a CPAP machine, so they are willing to wear it consistently.