A lot of things can wake you up in the night – a neighbor’s barking dog, a car alarm down the street, a bad dream – everyone has their sleep interrupted from time to time. But what if something woke you up multiple times each hour, every hour, every night? You wouldn’t be getting much rest. You’d probably be pretty tired in the morning, and you’d likely not be so cheerful either. This scenario is a very real problem for the millions of Americans living with sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), causes a person to stop breathing in the night. This brief cessation of airflow causes the OSA sufferer to wake up gasping for the air that their body needs. Oftentimes, just as they have fallen back to sleep, it happens again – they stop breathing briefly, wake up gasping, and fall back into fragmented sleep. This cycle repeats itself throughout the night making obstructive sleep apnea more than just a minor annoyance. This common condition can have a major impact on health and well-being.
Untreated sleep apnea affects your whole body. You have what is known as a blood oxygen level, and it’s determined by how well you’re getting air in. If you have OSA, your breathing may be normal during the day. But when you lie down to sleep, the soft tissue and other loose anatomy in your throat blocks your airway, causing your breathing to become labored and irregular, and causing you to stop breathing many times. This can cause your blood oxygen level to drop below the optimal range, which means your brain, heart, and entire body isn’t getting enough oxygen. Sleep apnea can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, and put unnecessary stress on your body. The National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research has found that sleep apnea contributes to approximately 38,000 cardiovascular deaths each year. Treating sleep apnea in South Florida is vital to a healthy life.
Untreated OSA can wreak havoc on your mood. How you feel is important to your overall health, too. The increased risk of depression and other mood disorders that comes with sleep apnea can be a problem for many sufferers. Irritability, foggy thinking or drowsiness during the day caused by sleep apnea can be an obstacle to work and learning, and can make completing daily tasks much harder. Dr. Atul Malhotra, the director of sleep medicine at the University of California San Diego, said in a NY Times article that effective treatment of obstructive sleep apnea enables people to have more energy and less sleepiness. They can think better, experience improved mental clarity and improve their mood, which are all great reasons to get treatment for your sleep apnea at Yazji Orthodontics.
Sleep apnea can hurt your marriage or other relationship. They vowed to love you for better or for worse, but didn’t account for your snoring! One partner who snores loudly is a complaint among many couples, but it can also be a common sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
Left untreated, OSA not only wakes you up – it can wake your spouse up multiple times each night, too. Loud snoring and waking in the night can create resentment and disharmony as well as decreased intimacy in a relationship. In other words, OSA can impact the health and mood of both people involved.
If your significant other has been complaining about your snoring, you may have undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. The American Sleep Apnea Association’s Snore Score Quiz can help you determine whether you should be medically assessed for sleep apnea. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, don’t wait to treat it.
Your OSA should be treated in a way that works for you. Many sleep apnea patients don’t stick with CPAP machine treatment — and without consistent treatment, their sleep apnea returns. OAT treatment from Yazji Orthodontics is a convenient and custom-fit solution to obstructive sleep apnea in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Our friendly team can help you set up an OAT consultation with Dr. Maria Yazji, DDS at our Miami, Brickell, or Weston office. Treat your sleep apnea with an OAT device from Yazji Orthodontics.