Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnoea include snoring and pauses in breathing whilst asleep.</2>
Sleep apnoea is a common condition and affects many Australians every day. The condition can cause some serious health complications if it is left untreated. In fact, sleep apnoea has been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, all of which are potentially fatal conditions. So, how do you know if you are suffering from the disorder? Read on to find out about some of the possible signs, and what you can do to address them…
What are the symptoms of sleep apnoea?
Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnoea in adults include:
- Loud snoring
- Periods in which breathing is paused during sleep.
- Often waking up abruptly throughout the night.
- Either a dry mouth or sore throat upon waking.
- Headaches (usually upon waking in the morning).
- Daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia) and difficulty paying attention when awake.
- Gasping for air during sleep.
- Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia).
When it comes to sleep apnoea in children, the signs and symptoms differ slightly. Children with undiagnosed sleep apnoea are often likely to experience learning difficulties or have a poor attention span. Other possible symptoms of the condition include:
- Mouth breathing (both when asleep and awake).
- Pauses in breathing during sleep.
- Daytime fatigue
If you have a toddler with sleep apnoea, you may notice that they are particularly irritable, or that they have growth-related problems. They may also suffer from problems related to the tonsils and adenoids.
What are the causes of the condition?
In adults, some of the most common risk factors for sleep apnoea include being overweight; drinking alcohol; and smoking. Children with large tonsils and adenoids tend to be at increased risk of developing the condition.
Genetic factors, such as having a large neck or tongue, are also contributing factors. Individuals who have a particularly narrow palate or airway are also more susceptible to a collapsing airway, and thus may develop sleep apnoea.
When should you seek professional help?
If you experience any of the possible symptoms of sleep apnoea, it is advisable that you see a professional healthcare practitioner in order to receive a proper diagnosis. When you consult with your doctor or dentist, be sure to explain any symptoms that you have experienced in detail and let them know if you have any questions or concerns about your overall health.
In many cases, a sleep study may be recommended so that factors like you’re breathing, and oxygen levels can be monitored while you sleep. One the test has been performed; your practitioner will be able to use the data to customise a treatment plan for you.
How can we help?
At Access Dental Care, we provide a number of treatments for individuals who are suffering from sleep apnoea. If you suspect that you have the condition, we encourage you to come in and see us so that we provide you with a diagnosis. We offer sleep studies to help diagnose the condition, and once the extent of your sleep apnoea has been determined, we will custom make a mandibular advancement device, which is designed to keep the airway open while you sleep.
If you would like to find out more about the sleep apnoea and snoring treatments that we offer at Access Dental Care, please have a look here.