Sleep apnea is a condition that affects people when they sleep. It actually involves the temporary cessation of breathing during sleep due to a blocked airway and can have very serious health complications. Sleep apnea is linked to heart disease and stress and can be very damaging to your overall health. What is even more amazing about the condition is that some people are completely unaware that they have it. Because it only occurs during the night, unless a loved one notices, you are unlikely to know what is happening when you sleep. Even then, many people simply mistake sleep apnea for snoring, which is the sound omitted during breathing while asleep.
There are two main types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by the collapse of the soft palate at the back of the throat. This temporarily blocks the airways before it is reopened again. This can happen many times each night putting a great deal of strain on the body. The other type of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea (CSA), which is caused in the respiratory centre of the brain which stops sending signals to the lungs to breathe. The two are very different but ultimately have the same consequences.
Sleep apnea is the underlying cause of many health conditions such as stress and anxiety. In children it is often the reason for low attention span and underachieving in school. Sleep apnea, specifically OSA, can be treated by Bath dentists who can use special appliances to be worn at night to prevent the palate from collapsing. This will hopefully be able to allow you a good nights sleep for the first time in a long time. Without knowing it, you could be making the most important change to your life. Make an appointment with your dentist if you have concerns about sleep apnea.