It is estimated that as many as 15 million people suffer from sleep apnea. Many of these individuals are unaware that they have it, and they wake up feeling as if they have received little or no sleep because they have spent the night fighting to breath normally and receive oxygen. Here at Jean Woods, DDS, PA - Community Smiles, our dentist and team are committed to diagnosing and treating sleep apnea so that you can get the rest you need. When you visit our office, Dr. Jean Woods will review signs and symptoms of sleep apnea with you and will coordinate with your physician or sleep specialist to ensure you receive the correct diagnosis and treatment. To find out more about treating sleep apnea in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and schedule your consultation, call us today at 919-942-6313.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Frequent pauses or interruptions in breathing
- Sleepiness and daytime fatigue
- Restless sleep
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Falling asleep easily while driving, working or reading
- Gasping and choking sensations and sounds while asleep
- A sore throat upon waking
- Depression, anxiety and mood changes
- Headaches upon waking
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory impairment
There are also several factors that increase your risk of developing sleep apnea. These factors include:
- Excess weight — Obesity greatly increases your risk of sleep apnea, as fat deposits around the upper airway may obstruct breathing
- Neck circumference — People with thicker necks often have narrower airways
- A narrowed airway — A narrow throat may contribute to sleep apnea, particularly in children when tonsils or adenoids enlarge and block the airway
- Being male — Men are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea than women. However, women increase their risk if they are overweight, and their risk may also rise after menopause.
- Being older — Sleep apnea occurs more often in older adults.
- Family history — Generic factors may increase your risk of developing sleep apnea.
- Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers – These substances relax the throat and can worsen sleep apnea.
- Smoking — Smokers are three times more likely to develop sleep apnea, as smoking increases the amount of inflammation and fluid retention of the upper airway.
- Nasal congestion — Difficulty breathing through your nose increases your risk of developing sleep apnea.
- Medical conditions — Other medical conditions can increase the risk of sleep apnea, including congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, hormonal disorders, asthma and Parkinson’s disease.
For more information and to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today.