Sleep apnea is a condition potentially so much more severe than the loud, disruptive snoring that is often characterized as one of its main symptoms. In fact, if not treated properly in extreme cases, the sleep apnea sufferer could die. Fortunately, there are multiple possibilities for combating this. Dr. Sue Wendling is an experienced dentist familiar with sleep apnea. She will help you understand not only the problems associated with this, but highlight the solutions as well.
A common characteristic among many sufferers is that they tend to wake up, which inhibits the therapeutic affects healthy, deep sleep brings. Some may awaken up to ten times in an hour, though they're not conscious of being awake. The next morning, all they think happened is they didn't get a good night's sleep.
The main problem with sleep apnea is that a person's airway collapses inward during episodes of sleep apnea. This cuts the lungs' ability to take in air from the normal 95% to levels that could dive to around 50%. Even fairly short periods of just a couple of seconds of this disruption can create damaging effects in the long term. This often happens during nourishing, restorative REM sleep. When it does, it jolts the person out of this sleep state as their body eventually forces air into the lungs.
Over the course of time, this oxygen interruption can take its toll, leading to elevated chances of heart disease or strokes. Also, during healthy sleep growth hormones are secreted into the body and act as regenerative agents. Sleep apnea disrupts this process as well and inhibits the body's ability to heal minor ailments.
During the days that follow this chaotic sleep, many people experience difficulty when trying to concentrate on their day-to-day tasks. Productivity and alertness are also affected and many sleep apnea sufferers are drowsy throughout their workdays.
Sleep apnea doesn't just affect people afflicted with this condition. Partners and loved ones routinely lose sleep as well - the average estimate is over an hour each night. Sleep apnea is problematic for anyone.
Other Dangers of Sleep Apnea
Besides elevating the risks of heart disease and stroke, as well as impeding one's quality of life due to lack of quality sleep, sleep apnea can also contribute to:
- Increased muscle pain
- Short-term memory loss
- Gastric reflux
Fortunately, for anyone in the Portland, Oregon area who feels they may suffer from sleep apnea, sleep apnea dentist Dr. Sue Wendling can help. Please contact Wendling Cosmetic and Reconstructive Dentistry to schedule a consultation.