You might have sleep apnea and not even know it!
But how can you know for sure?
Sleep apnea can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race or weight. Although sleep apnea is most commonly associated with people who snore, you might have sleep apnea even without snoring.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder in which a person has pauses in breathing lasting from a few seconds to minutes. Each episode ends when normal breathing resumes, sometimes with a choking sound or snort. Some people have more than 30 episodes an hour, with incredibly destructive effects on their health.
How do you know if you have sleep apnea? Several tests can help you determine the answer.
If you sleep with a partner, they can provide invaluable help. Ask them if they’ve noticed you snoring, pausing in your breathing, or making sudden snorting sounds during the night.
Even if your partner isn’t aware of these warning signs, you could have sleep apnea. Many people cease and then resume breathing without making sounds or waking up enough to remember it. But the problem still prevents them from reaching deep sleep, causing them to feel tired the next day.
A home sleep test usually includes a portable monitoring device to measure your heart rate, blood oxygen level, airflow and breathing patterns. While effective, these tests don’t detect all cases of sleep apnea, so you may need a higher level of observation in a sleep lab.
Sleep Lab Observation
The most accurate form of testing is nocturnal polysomnography. For this test, you’ll stay overnight in an observation room connected to equipment to measure your heart, lung and brain activity. You’ll also be monitored for breathing patterns, arm and leg movements, and blood oxygen levels while you sleep.
Lighthouse Dental can help!
Ask us about Oral Appliance Therapy
– a remarkable and much-less obtrusive alternative to CPAP treatment for sleep apnea. The oral appliance is a small, custom-fit device, much like a retainer, that gently shifts the lower jaw forward slightly to open up your airway. It’s such a simple solution to help you sleep better and enjoy life again.