The Benefits of Using an Oral Appliance to Treat Sleep Apnea | Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea Treatment

You may have been prescribed a CPAP machine if your doctor diagnosed you with sleep apnea. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, and the machine blows forced air into your lungs through a mask.

Most people do not adjust well to wearing a CPAP mask and may even give up trying to treat their sleep apnea. Alternatively, you may be able to keep your airway open while sleeping by wearing an oral appliance.

Sleep apnea symptoms
Sleep apnea affects between 9 and 24% of adults, but 80% of moderate-to-severe cases remain undiagnosed. One of the most obvious symptoms of sleep apnea is that you snore when you sleep. Snoring occurs because sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing several times per hour, causing you to gasp for air during sleep. 

However, other symptoms of sleep apnea are subtler and may be overlooked, especially if you sleep alone or your partner doesn’t report hearing you snore. Symptoms include:

  • The sensation of waking up with a dry mouth
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Excessive irritability
  • Hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness during the day)
  • Inability to pay attention.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that requires treatment. When left untreated, sleep apnea can impair your productivity at work and increase your risk for car accidents due to daytime sleepiness. 

Sleep apnea, if left untreated, also increases your risk of developing insulin resistance or diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, and liver problems. 

Sleep apnea treatments
The most common method of treating sleep apnea is to use a device that helps you breathe when you sleep. Other than CPAP machines, bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines are also commonly used, which provide higher pressure for inhalation and lower pressure for exhalation.

As many people find it difficult to adjust to both of these machines, oral appliances offer an alternative. In addition to keeping your airway open, these devices are worn during sleep. There are multiple types of oral appliances available, some of which aim to keep the throat open by moving your jaw forward.

Additionally, oral appliances are more portable than CPAP or BiPAP machines due to their ease of use. As a result, they are much easier to take along when traveling or sleeping somewhere other than at home. 

In addition to being completely silent, oral appliances have a significant advantage over CPAP machines. Although CPAPs have come a long way in terms of their noise levels, they are still very loud and may keep you and/or your sleep partner awake. 

Furthermore, oral appliances are easy to maintain. All you need to do is brush the appliance with a toothbrush every day while using a gentle toothpaste and water. Daily and weekly cleaning is required for CPAP machines.

If left untreated, sleep apnea can have severe consequences. It is likely that you will be surprised at how much better you feel after sleeping with an oral appliance. Our dental practice specializes in the treatment of individuals with sleep apnea. Contact our office to schedule a consultation so you can enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Dental Sleep Apnea Treatment: Pros and Cons | Sleep Apnea Dentist Glen Burnie

Sleep apnea is characterized by frequent lapses in breathing during the night. There has been an increase in the prevalence of this condition among Americans in recent years. Most people suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea(OSA), which is caused by a partial blockage of their airways. The good news is that oral appliances can be used to treat this condition. Read on to find out whether dental sleep apnea treatment might be beneficial for you or a loved one suffering from sleep apnea.

MADs (Mandibular Advancement Devices)

Mandibular advancement devices, or MADs, are similar to the mouth guards worn by athletes. The reason for this is that they will fit over a person’s upper and lower teeth while they sleep. The MAD treatment involves gently adjusting the lower jaw and tongue forward so as to prevent the person’s throat muscles from collapsing and obstructing their airways.

Mouthpieces for retaining the tongue

The design of tongue-retaining mouthpieces is similar to that of mandibular advancement devices. Tongue-retention mouthpieces, however, have a small compartment that holds the tongue and uses suction to hold it forward. For patients who cannot shift their jaw sufficiently for a mandibular advancement device, tongue retaining mouthpieces are often recommended.

The Pros and Cons of Oral Appliances

Although using an oral appliance seems more convenient than using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine for your sleep apnea, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. 

PROS

  • Patients using CPAP machines often complain of having an itchy nose when they wake up. This issue is unlikely with an oral appliance since they usually do not affect the nose.
  • Wearing an oral appliance is simpler than using a CPAP machine, which requires cords and wires throughout the night.
  • The compact design of oral appliances makes them easy to transport.

CONS

  • It is not uncommon for patients to complain of jaw soreness, pain, or stiffness. 
  • Oral appliances may also cause gum and tooth pain because of the way they shift the jaw. 
  • It has been reported that some patients have experienced dry mouth or increased saliva production. 
  • It is possible to permanently alter the position of a person’s jaw.
  • You may experience loosening and instability of a crown or bridge over time. 

Schedule an appointment with our sleep apnea office today if you are interested in dental sleep apnea treatment. We can assist you in determining which type of oral appliance is most appropriate for you. Let us help you choose the right option for you.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Sleep Apnea: 9 Signs to Watch Out For | Sleep Apnea Treatment Glen Burnie

A lack of sleep affects more than your energy level and ability to function during the day. An inadequate amount of sleep may increase the risk of developing other health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

The most common sleep disorder is sleep apnea, in which your breathing stops and starts during sleep. It affects up to 18 million Americans, including children.

There are two basic kinds of sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea in which your airway becomes obstructed during sleep.

There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea, including:

  • Being overweight 
  • Your gender—men are more likely to be at risk than women.
  • Older age
  • Family history 
  • A small airway or some physical abnormality in the nose, throat, or other parts of the upper airway.
  • Allergies or other conditions that cause congestion.
  • Enlarged tonsils, which primarily affects children.
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and heart failure, as well as lifestyle choices such as smoking,

Central sleep apnea is most common in individuals with heart disease or neurological disorders.

Central sleep apnea happens when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the muscles to start breathing. While central sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea, they do share some common signs and symptoms.

The Most Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The nine most common signs of sleep apnea include:

  1. Loud snoring, which is most commonly seen in obstructive sleep apnea.
  2. There are times when your bed partner notices that you aren’t breathing.
  3. Wake up abruptly with shortness of breath, a symptom of central sleep apnea.
  4. Having a dry or sore throat when you wake up
  5. Difficulty staying asleep
  6. Daytime sleepiness, which can lead to work-related mishaps or traffic accidents.
  7. Problems with attention and concentration
  8. Getting up to urinate during the night
  9. Irritability

The body wants to breathe more than anything else, and it does everything it can to avoid closing your airway. Therefore, (people with sleep apnea) aren’t getting into deep stages of sleep where the airway relaxes and closes.

Sleep apnea is rarely fatal on its own. It can, however, increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes. The condition is also associated with worsening heart failure and irregular heartbeats. Sleep apnea can also complicate the treatment of chronic diseases.

Treatment of Sleep Apnea

Continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) is the gold standard for treating sleep apnea. Masks or other devices that fit over your nose or your nose and mouth are part of the CPAP system. The mask is connected to the machine’s motor by a tube, which blows air into it. When you breathe in, this increases air pressure in your throat, preventing your airway from collapsing.

Try these tips to lessen the severity of sleep apnea:

  • Sleeping in a different position so you’re not lying on your back
  • If you are overweight, you should lose weight.
  • Avoiding alcohol and sleep-inducing medications
  • Using nasal sprays or allergy medications to relieve congestion
  • Quitting smoking
  • You can keep your airways open by using a mouthpiece or dental appliance for mild cases.

If you believe that you may have sleep apnea, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. We will be happy to discuss some treatment options to help you get a good night’s rest.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

6 Risks Associated With Sleep Apnea | Chesapeake Sleep Center Glen Burnie MD

Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans. A recent study estimates that one in fifteen Americans live with a diagnosed case of sleep apnea, while 4% live with undiagnosed sleep apnea. 

Sleep apnea, whether diagnosed or not, can have serious consequences for your health. Below are some of the dangers of sleep apnea.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing during sleep. Snoring happens when you start breathing again after a period of not breathing. There’s more to snoring than just annoying your bedroom neighbors. It’s actually dangerous for your health.

When you stop breathing, your brain is deprived of oxygen. While you are awake, this lack of oxygen causes a variety of problems. The following are six potentially dangerous consequences:

1. The risk of having a stroke is increased.

Having sleep apnea increases your chance of having a stroke while you are awake. This risk is four times greater than that of someone without sleep apnea.

2. The risk of having a heart attack is increased.

A person suffering from sleep apnea is three times more likely to suffer from a heart attack if left untreated.

3. High blood pressure

Having untreated sleep apnea causes your body to lack oxygen, which causes your heart to pump harder, leading to high blood pressure. During sleep, your hormones are also thrown into overdrive, resulting in high blood pressure throughout the day. 

4. Type 2 diabetes

If untreated, sleep apnea puts you at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body can’t use insulin properly, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea.

5. A higher risk of car accidents

It’s more difficult to stay awake during the day if you don’t get a good night’s sleep. If you’re drowsy while driving, you’re more likely to get into a car accident.

6. Disturbances in mood

Sleep deprivation can eventually affect your mood if you do not get enough sleep. When you have a night with limited sleep, you don’t feel energetic and chipper. Just imagine what it would be like if you were never able to sleep well! You may feel depressed and fatigued as a result of it.

Sleep apnea treatments

In the event that you suffer from sleep apnea, you do not need to worry about the risks involved. Make an appointment with our sleep apnea specialist to address the issue at its source. 

The majority of sleep specialists recommend using continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, as a treatment for sleep apnea. However, many people do not adhere to their CPAP usage recommendations, in part due to the device’s loudness and discomfort. Our office can recommend treatment options if you are suffering from sleep apnea. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Sleep Apnea and Your Oral Health | Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea Treatment

Several sleep disorders, including insomnia and snoring, are associated with sleep apnea. Oral health problems can be caused by sleep apnea and vice versa. This article examines the relationship between sleep apnea and your oral health.

What is sleep apnea?

A new study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that 25 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. During sleep, breathing interruptions are a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, the most common type, occurs when the soft tissues of the airway collapse due to large tongues, obesity, and other factors. As a result of apnea, the lungs do not receive oxygen.

Sleep apnea disrupts the sleep cycle, causing daytime weakness, fatigue, and poor mental performance and has long-term health consequences. If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in oxygen deprivation, high blood pressure, and heart problems.

The connection to oral health

Sleep is essential for general well-being, preventing bad breath, mouth ulcers, and periodontitis. Sleep apnea is associated with oral issues such as TMJ disorder, bruxism, and mouth breathing.

TMJ

A connection exists between sleep apnea and disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The upper and lower jaws are connected by the TMJ. There are two TMJs on each side of the face, one on each side. TMJ disorder can cause jaw pain, locked jaws, headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, and chewing issues.

A 2013 study in the Journal of Dental Research found that people suffering from sleep apnea are also three times more likely to suffer from TMJ disorder. Furthermore, regardless of race, age, weight, or smoking habits, patients who showed signs of sleep apnea had a 73 percent higher risk of having TMJ issues.

Bruxism

The term bruxism refers to tooth grinding or jaw clenching. It is common for people to engage in this habit subconsciously while sleeping, although it can occur at any time. You may wake up feeling tired with headaches and jaw pain if you suffer from bruxism. According to the Journal of Oral and Facial Pain and Headache, 31 percent of adults have bruxism, and about a quarter have sleep apnea.

Due to the involuntary and uncontrolled movements of the jaw while sleeping, bruxism is categorized as a sleep-related problem. It is possible that patients are not aware of the disorder, but a dentist will be able to detect the signs during a routine dental examination.

Mouth breathing

As a result of sleep apnea, a person may need to breathe through their mouth. Dry mouth contributes to tooth decay, plaque, mouth sores, and gum disease. According to research published in the Journal of the Indian Society of Periodontology, half of all sleep apnea patients suffer from periodontal disease.

Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can adversely affect general wellbeing. If you are concerned that you may suffer from sleep apnea, contact your general dentist to determine the cause of your sleep problems. To help you sleep better, the dentist will discuss various treatment options.

If you are concerned you may have sleep apnea, please contact our dental office today to schedule a consultation.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Sleep Apnea Leading to Forgetfulness? | Sleep Apnea Glen Burnie

Did you ever consider that memory loss, depression, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) might all be connected?

Researchers have long known that memory and depression are linked, but now new research shows that people with obstructive sleep apnea have trouble remembering specific details about their lives, making them vulnerable to depression. With approximately 22 million people in the U.S. and 936 million worldwide suffering from sleep apnea, it is an issue that must be addressed.

Episodic Memory vs. Semantic Memory

For a better understanding of research, it is helpful to distinguish semantic memory from episodic memory. Throughout our lives, we acquire facts, meanings, and concepts about the world that make up our semantic memory. Among our semantic memories are names of states, objects, and different types of food. While semantic memory can be rooted in a personal context (such as a sibling’s name), it is consolidated in the mind as purely factual information. Episodic memory is our memory of events and experiences specific to our lives, also known as autobiographical memory. In episodic memory, the emotional charge and context usually remain.

For example, to distinguish between the two types of memory, a semantic memory could be the name of your first-grade teacher, whereas an episodic memory could be what it was like on the first day of first grade. There is an association between depression and lower semantic memory, which means that depressed patients are less able to remember specific details regarding events or experiences.

Diving Deeper into Research

Keeping in mind the literature supporting the link between depression and low semantic memory, researchers compared an assessment of adults with OSA to an assessment of healthy adults. They asked participants to recall certain autobiographical events from their childhood, early adulthood, and recent lives. Overgeneral memories were significantly more prevalent among those with OSA, 52.3% versus 18.9% among the control group. Even though their episodic memory was intact, they struggled to remember the specifics. The researchers noted that this was likely due to interrupted sleep patterns since research has shown that good sleep is necessary to consolidate memory. Although the exact correlation between sleep apnea, memory loss, and depression remains unclear, this study shared by our sleep apnea dentist in 21061 highlights the importance of further research to determine if treatment can make up for lost memories. The good news is that sleep apnea treatment improves some of the cognitive consequences of the disorder.

Depression symptoms

All of us need to evaluate our emotional well-being regularly, but it’s particularly important for those with (treated or untreated) sleep apnea. According to a 2014 study, 46% of people with OSA have depressive symptoms. The following are some of the most common signs of depression:

  • A persistent feeling of sadness
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Easily irritated
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • A constant feeling of anxiety
  • Thoughts or attempts at suicide

In combination with loud, persistent snoring, constant fatigue, and waking up gasping for air, depressive symptoms may point to obstructive sleep apnea, which can compromise your health overall.

The good news is that sleep apnea can be effectively treated. An appropriate diagnosis can be made by a specialist if you think you may have sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed, you will most likely be offered a CPAP or an oral appliance. While CPAP is the gold standard in sleep apnea treatment, it is not regarded as the most effective treatment due to low adherence among patients.

Please contact our sleep apnea office in Glen Burnie, MD today to schedule a consultation. Getting to the bottom of your sleep problems is the first step to figuring out the best treatment option for you.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Sleep Apnea and Your Mental Health | Sleep Apnea Glen Burnie MD

Once we learn about chronic health conditions, it’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole. One such condition is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The condition is chronic since it occurs every time you sleep and can only be managed through therapy. The condition rarely goes away by itself.

During sleep, what appears to be a mechanical problem with breathing turns out to be much more complex in its effects on the rest of our bodies. You may not know, for example, that OSA, if left untreated, is associated with a wide array of chronic health conditions. People with OSA may develop a hidden case of high blood pressure. Similarly, untreated OSA can cause Type 2 diabetes.

Could OSA contribute to mental health problems as well? Sadly, the answer is yes.

Psychological effects of obstructive sleep apnea

For many years, research has been conducted to identify associations between OSA and mental health issues. According to recent studies, there is a clear link between OSA and mood disorders like depression.

In fact, OSA contributes to several mental health concerns besides major depression disorder (MDD), such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and panic attacks.

Sleep apnea, and depression

There are often similarities in the symptoms experienced by people with MDD and OSA, such as:

  • Fatigue during the day
  • Concentration issues
  • excessive irritability
  • Gaining weight

Someone who complains of mental health issues such as depression may, after going through an OSA screening, discover that they also suffer from sleep apnea.

The VA conducted a large study that found people with MDD have a five-times greater chance of having OSA, with more than half of the OSA patients in their study meeting the criteria for MDD. It can also be the case with chronic insomnia, which is also well known to overlap with major depressive disorder (MDD).

Low serotonin levels appear to link both conditions, although in different ways. In the brain, serotonin is responsible for regulating mood, so low levels mean negative emotions. Serotonin also plays a role in the nerve function of the upper airway during sleep. Inadequate supply could play a role in the complex set of conditions leading to OSA.

Researchers from the VA study found that, despite controlling for obesity as a risk factor, OSA was associated with both mood disorders and anxiety disorders.

Sleep apnea, and anxiety

A person with OSA is nearly twice as likely to suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder. According to one study, the more severe the case of OSA, the higher the chance of anxiety symptoms. In fact, over two-thirds of people who dealt with anxiety also suffered from severe OSA.

Sleep apnea and mental health problems

Is there a way to move forward when an individual is diagnosed with OSA and depression or anxiety?

As a general rule, it is best to treat OSA as the primary condition, as it may contribute to depression and anxiety. There is a good chance that depressive or anxious symptoms will subside or even disappear once they are treated.

Additionally, certain antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications (such as benzodiazepines and other sedatives or hypnotics) can actually worsen an existing case of OSA. This might explain why your doctor may suggest at least starting with positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy (such as CPAP) before treating the mental health symptoms. According to research, CPAP use can reduce anxiety and depression severity, especially for women.

Make sure you don’t go at it alone.

It can be difficult to know when having one mental or physical health issue will lead to another, but this does happen. Unfortunately, chronic illness is like that. It is possible for one health issue to lead to another over time.

A person with OSA may suffer from problematic sleep caused by ongoing stress unrelated to their condition. A pandemic is an example of stress-induced insomnia and disturbed sleep affecting millions in 2020.

If you’re unsure about the source of your sleep problems, don’t guess why or ignore the symptoms. Consider consulting with your physician and a sleep apnea specialist. With their assistance, you can determine whether you have any mental or physical health concerns that need to be addressed. Our sleep apnea center in Glen Burnie, MD specializes in treating sleep apnea patients. To schedule an appointment, call our sleep apnea dentist in Glen Burnie today. Ultimately, figuring out the problem and treating it, as well as getting more sleep, are your top priorities.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Could Sleep Apnea be Causing Your High Blood Pressure? | Paul Miller, DDS

Stethoscope and heart on heartbeat printout Sleep Apnea 21061

In the United States, 80% of people with mild to moderate sleep apnea go undiagnosed! Comorbidities, such as high blood pressure, often accompany sleep apnea, making it essential that everyone with sleep apnea address health conditions.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the throat collapse during sleep and restrict the airway. When air passes over the restriction, a vibration occurs, emitting the sound we know as snoring. If you have been told you snore often, or think you may be snoring, then you should get tested for sleep apnea. Once the restriction is overcome, the brain will wake the body to resume breathing. If you are constantly woken up, you will not be able to get enough restorative sleep and may end up developing other health concerns, such as high blood pressure.

What is hypertension (high blood pressure)?

Your blood pressure is the amount of pressure your pumping blood applies to your blood vessels. When your blood vessels are pushed too hard, you get hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Hypertension is the result of the relationship between your systolic blood pressure (the pressure when your heart is pumping) and your diastolic blood pressure (the pressure when your heart isn’t pumping). According to the American College of Cardiology, hypertensive patients have a systolic or diastolic pressure greater than 130+/80+.

Hypertension is a serious condition because it can lead to heart disease and heart failure. 50% of patients with hypertension also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

What is the relationship between sleep apnea and high blood pressure?

A patient with untreated sleep apnea is 2.6 times more likely to suffer from heart disease and heart failure than a patient without sleep apnea. The brain works harder at night to keep your body breathing, so there is no apparent drop in blood pressure in patients with sleep apnea. A person without sleep apnea experiences a decrease in blood pressure during the night. This dip is normal because the heart slows down at night to allow it to recover.

At night, blood oxygen levels are also supposed to decrease in a healthy individual. When someone is struggling to breathe during the night, their blood oxygen levels do not have the opportunity to decrease, thus increasing blood pressure. The result of this is high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease in the long run.

It is important to note that hypertension is associated with obstructive sleep apnea. There is less clarity regarding whether central sleep apnea (in which the brain does not communicate adequately to control breathing) and hypertension are related.

How can sleep apnea and heart disease be treated?

Often, a whole-body approach is needed to treat sleep apnea and heart disease. The only way to determine whether you have sleep apnea is to undergo a sleep study. At-home sleep studies are convenient because you don’t have to go to a sleep lab; you can sleep in your own bed while a device monitors your sleeping patterns. You may be prescribed an oral device instead of a CPAP machine if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea. Other treatments, such as weight loss and diet management, may also help treat sleep apnea and hypertension. If you believe you suffer from either of these conditions, we recommend you consult with a cardiologist and sleep apnea specialist for any underlying issues that could be affecting your health.

For more information, please contact us today. By giving them a better night’s rest, we have been able to help hundreds of patients not only sleep better but also resolve other medical conditions they were dealing with. Our Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea office will guide you every step of the way to sleeping better!

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
Url: https://chesapeakesleepapnea.com/
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Need a Nap? Sleep Apnea May be Your Problem | Sleep Apnea 21061

Woman asleep on laptop Sleep Apnea Near Me

Millions of Americans suffer from sleep apnea, causing them to have trouble sleeping, drowsiness during the day, and fatigue at night. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard to breathe at night and can block the air moving into and out of the lungs. Sleep apnea causes poor sleep as well as a number of other health issues. 

There are three types of sleep apnea that might affect your breathing during the night.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. During this condition, the muscles in the back of the throat relax, closing the airway and physically blocking your lungs.
  • Central sleep apnea is less common and originates in the brain. During sleep, your brain fails to control your breathing muscles. This will cause shallow or slow breathing, or even breathing pauses.
  • Mixed sleep apnea occurs when a person has both obstructive and central sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea is characterized by slow or shallow breathing as well as physical obstruction of the airway.

Identifying the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The following symptoms will be experienced by anyone with sleep apnea, whether it is obstructive, central, or mixed.

  • Snoring loudly during the night
  • The feeling of choking during sleep
  • An abrupt pause in breathing during sleep, followed by a gasp
  • Sleeping with labored breathing
  • Having a dry mouth in the morning
  • Having morning headaches
  • Fatigue during the day
  • Thinking or concentrating is difficult
  • Stress and irritability 

You may not notice all of these symptoms because you sleep through all the sleep disturbances. Ask your partner if they have noticed any snoring, choking, or gasping noises, or if you have stopped breathing sometime during the night. 

Obstructive sleep apnea: What causes it?

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airways become blocked. While you sleep, your tongue, throat, and neck muscles relax, causing the muscles to narrow or completely block your airway. This can cause you to stop breathing for a few seconds. Following this, your brain sends a signal that briefly wakes up your body, tightening the muscles and restarting the flow of air.

You may only be awake for a few seconds, and you may not even remember being awake. This can happen more than 30 times in an hour. The disruption of your nighttime sleep will leave you feeling exhausted, and even if you don’t remember waking up, you won’t have been able to get a deep and restful sleep.

What Causes Central Sleep Apnea? 

The causes of central sleep apnea are very different from those of obstructive sleep apnea. When a person suffers from central sleep apnea, it is the brain rather than the muscles that cause breathing problems. While you sleep, your brain continues to control your breathing muscles. When you’re sleeping, this automatic process can be disrupted, leading to shallower and slower breathing. 

Central sleep apnea can also occur when the brain does not sense how much carbon dioxide is in the body. When this happens, your breathing becomes even shallower and slower than it should be, and your body won’t receive enough oxygen. 

The cause of central sleep apnea is often a related health condition such as a stroke, an illness or infection, an injury to the brain, or even a brain tumor. Certain pain medications can also cause central sleep apnea. 

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

 Several behaviors or conditions can increase your risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. The following are some of the most common risk factors for sleep apnea:

  • Such physical features as a narrow airway or enlarged tonsils can obstruct the airway.
  • Nighttime nasal congestion 
  • Breathing problems, such as asthma
  • Tobacco use
  • weight gain, which results in fat deposits around the upper airway, restricting airflow.
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Laying on your back while sleeping

These are a few of the factors that can contribute to sleep apnea. Call our Sleep Apnea Glen Burnie office to schedule a consultation for more information regarding the types of sleep apnea and its causes. You can find out if you have sleep apnea by taking a sleep test and exploring your treatment options so you can get the rest you need.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
Url: https://chesapeakesleepapnea.com/
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Men vs. Women…Sleep Apnea Comparison | Dr. Paul Miller

Dentist Glen Burnie

It’s said that men come from Mars and women from Venus. Remember that old book about the differences between men and women? Although many things are different between the sexes, this one may surprise you: sleep apnea symptoms.

The UCLA School of Nursing published a study on women with obstructive sleep apnea and found that their symptoms are different from men’s. Health plays a major role in the differences between the two groups. It is common to think of obstructive sleep apnea patients as overweight males with serious health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. According to the UCLA study, however, women with obstructive sleep apnea often seem healthy. Their blood pressure is usually normal, and they have subtle symptoms. Although these can be considered positive signs, a sleep-breathing disorder is often misdiagnosed or overlooked for many women. As a result, many do not receive treatment.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder and medical condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts while sleeping. A common cause of sleep apnea is the muscles in the throat falling into the airways, blocking airflow into the lungs. When the airflow is stopped, oxygen cannot enter the bloodstream. Organs and tissues die without oxygen, increasing your risk of serious illness and potentially life-threatening conditions.

How many people suffer from sleep apnea?

There are 22 million Americans who suffer from sleep-related breathing disorders, yet many are unaware of the condition. The condition is more likely to develop in men, but women are not exempt from risk factors. Women account for roughly 40% of patients newly diagnosed with sleep-breathing disorders.

Is Sleep Apnea a Serious Problem in Women?

Is sleep apnea serious for women whose symptoms are mild or unnoticeable? Certainly.

Sleep apnea poses serious health risks and can cause chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia. Due to its effect on the heart and heartbeat, it can cause heart attacks and heart failure. Researchers found that while sleep apnea is terrible in men, it is even worse in women. As a result, it can lead to heart problems, including heart disease, and affect day-to-day living more seriously than it does for men.

Early detection and treatment of sleep apnea are critical for patients because they can help protect your brain and organs from damage when your blood oxygen level drops.

Sleep Apnea in Women: What Are the Signs?

  • Snoring (not always present, and not always loud or frequent)
  • Headaches in the morning, especially around the temples
  • Loss of memory
  • Problems with learning or focusing
  • A dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up.
  • Insomnia and difficulty sleeping.
  • Feeling irritable or depressed?

Some women may experience choking or gasping during sleep, which may cause them to wake up. Affected individuals may wake up but not know why they woke up in these situations. We can perform a sleep apnea test in our office to determine whether you have the condition.

Sleep Apnea and Menopause

Women after menopause are also at a higher risk for sleep-disordered breathing. Menopause can make diagnosis difficult since its symptoms are similar to those of sleep apnea. Symptoms include:

  • Periods that are irregular
  • Hot flashes
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue during the day
  • Concentration problems
  • Loss of memory
  • Mood swings
  • Incontinence and/or vaginal/urinary problems (dryness, infections)
  • A decrease in libido
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • An unexplained increase in weight

A hormonal condition such as polycystic ovary syndrome may also contribute to this condition. Women who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop sleep apnea symptoms, but thin women are also at risk.

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

Treatments for obstructive sleep apnea in women differ, just as they do in men, depending on the severity of the condition. We can help women with sleep-disordered breathing without resorting to CPAP machines. Please contact our Sleep Apnea Glen Burnie office if you are interested in learning more and we would be happy to schedule a consultation.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
Url: https://chesapeakesleepapnea.com/
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061