Obstructive sleep apnea, commonly known as OSA, is a sleep condition in which a person stops breathing multiple times while sleeping. This is a significant health issue that affects people of all ages, especially children. If your doctor suspects you have sleep apnea, he or she may refer you to a sleep expert who is well versed in Dental Sleep Apnea Continuing Education. They will do a sleep study to establish if you have OSA. This is the standard technique used by your doctor to confirm an apnea diagnosis.
It is also important to realize that some lifestyle choices and medical conditions might aggravate apnea. Some of these health behaviors are something you can change, so it’s essential to figure out what’s causing your sleep apnea to develop.
Obesity can increase sleep apnea, therefore if you are severely overweight, it is important to maintain your weight. Extra weight can cause excess tissues in and around your airway, which can be harmful as your body relaxes at sleep. Furthermore, sleep apnea can cause weight gain. If you’re having trouble losing weight, talk to a dentist who has undergone a Sleep Apnea Training for Dentist about proper diet so that you can maintain a healthy weight.
Another form of muscle relaxant is alcohol, which might be problematic for those who suffer from apnea. Drinking alcohol might cause your airway to relax excessively, resulting in blockage. If you have OSA, it is recommended to avoid consuming alcohol.
Your sleep position
The severity of sleep apnea is also affected by your body posture when sleeping. Sleeping on your back frequently increases apnea, however sleeping on your side may reduce apnea episodes. When you lie on your back, your tongue and soft palate tend to sink back into your throat, making breathing more difficult.
Menopause in women
Women typically suffer a reduction in the production of various hormones as they enter menopause. This hormone deficiency can result in a range of physical and mental symptoms, including hot flashes and mood swings. Aside from mood swings and hot flashes, some menopausal women have breathing problems, including apnea. If you are having apnea throughout menopause, speak with your doctor about coping techniques.
Certain prescription medications might increase your sleep apnea. Muscle relaxants and pain relievers, particularly opioid, are the major causes. Opioid medications are a type of medication that can cause respiratory suppression. Unfortunately, this might cause breathing issues when trying to sleep. Share your concerns with your doctor if you believe your drugs are contributing to OSA.
Other medical conditions
Other chronic health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure, might exacerbate apnea. That is why it is essential to maintain your health on a daily basis, but especially if you have apnea. Diabetes is a significant risk factor for and complication of OSA. Aside from affecting sleep quality and increasing daytime drowsiness, apnea may wreak havoc on other areas of your health, such as your heart health and blood pressure.
The aging process
As you become older, you lose muscle tone all over your body. Your airway, like other regions of your body, loses muscle as you age. Some people may have apnea as a result of this decrease of muscular tone. Although you cannot stop the aging process, it is critical to realize that you can manage your lifestyle choices. Developing new, healthy behaviors can help in the prevention of chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.
The therapy for apnea is determined on the etiology and severity. Breathing may improve for moderate apnea by developing healthier habits, such as avoiding alcohol and sedatives around night. Obese persons may benefit from weight loss, as well as changing their sleep postures. If you’re worried about apnea, talk to a dentist who has Sleep Apnea Training for Dentists about it so you can find the appropriate treatment plan for you.