Sleep Apnea


Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that could be life-threatening if not treated properly. People who have this condition stop and start repeatedly breathing through the night. Our doctors at Covington Family Dental, are trained to treat this disease.

If you are always tired even after getting a good night’s sleep, you may have sleep apnea. This disease is not easy to identify because if you sleep alone, you don’t know whether you snore at night. While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, that is one of the signs of the condition.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three kinds of sleep apnea:
•  Obstructive. This is the most common kind in which the throat muscles relax.
•  Central. This happens when the brain does not communicate with the breathing muscles.
•  Complex. This is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Signs of Sleep Apnea:

Aside from feeling tired and lacking energy during the day, there are other symptoms of sleep apnea including
•  Snoring that disrupts your partner or wakes you at night
•  Dry throat from sleeping with an open mouth
•  Lack of breathing reported by a partner
•  Headache
•  Insomnia or difficulty falling asleep
•  Excessive tiredness during the day
•  Difficulty focusing
•  Moodiness or irritability

What Causes Sleep Apnea

Your tongue shifts and moves further into your throat when you are lying in bed sleeping. If the muscles in your throat relax, the airways become narrower or can close altogether which prevents you from breathing.

In obstructive sleep apnea, if you can’t get enough air into the airways, this can result in lower oxygen levels in the blood. You may wake suddenly because of the lack of oxygen, but you fall back asleep again, and the cycle repeats. If you wake up choking or gasping for air, you may have sleep apnea. The reason sleep apnea affects your daytime activities is because these episodes can happen dozens of times during the night.

The most dangerous form of sleep apnea is the central kind because you don’t instinctively wake up from lack of oxygen. You may still wake up, but if you don’t that could be dangerous.

Treating Sleep Apnea

You must let us know if you suspect you have sleep apnea so that we can determine the best treatment for you. To diagnose the condition, we will ask that you stay in an overnight center where you will be hooked to a machine that will monitor your sleep patterns, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing patterns, oxygen levels, and limb movements. There are options to do testing at home as well.

Sleep apnea therapy includes using a CPAP mask over your head for sleeping. This contraption keeps your airways open at night, but many patients can’t get used to it. If this is your situation, there are other airway devices. We can try using oral devices that help you keep the jaw forward.

Surgery is another option, but we only resort to that after trying different treatments.

Please call Covington Family Dental at 253.499.6155 for a consultation, if you are concerned you may have sleep apnea.

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PHONE
253.499.6155

EMAIL
admin@covingtonfamilydental.com

LOCATION
17121 SE 270th Place
Covington, WA 98042


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