Do family members, friends, or roommates tease you about your loud snoring? You may think it’s not a big deal, but chronic snoring can be a warning sign of sleep apnea. What is this condition? Is it harmful to your health?
What Is Sleep Apnea?
There are two main types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain fails to consistently send signals to your breathing muscles. Obstructive sleep apnea is when you have a partial or complete blockage of your airway. This is the more common form of sleep apnea. Whichever kind you have, you aren’t getting enough oxygen when you sleep.
You are at greater risk of developing sleep apnea if you are male, over 40 years old, and overweight. Other risk factors include a genetic history of sleep apnea, large tonsils, or a smoking habit.
Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea
Loud, chronic snoring is often associated with sleep apnea. That doesn’t mean everyone who snores has the condition, but if you snore, it’s worth getting checked out. This is particular true if you also notice other indicators, such as:
- Persistent fatigue
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty focusing
- Waking up gasping for air
Negative Health Effects of Sleep Apnea
Untreated sleep apnea can contribute to serious conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attacks, diabetes, anxiety, depression, and more. If you believe you may have this condition, don’t wait until it gets worse.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in San Antonio, TX
Did you know dentists offer treatment for obstructive sleep apnea? Special oral appliances open up your airway so you can breathe better while you sleep. Dr. Maldonado and our team take a holistic approach to dentistry and understand the importance of a good night’s rest. If you have any questions about sleep apnea or want to book an appointment, please contact us today!