Sleep apnoea - where normal breathing is interrupted during sleep due to the relaxation and narrowing of the throat - is a relatively common condition. Yet it is a condition that can have a huge impact on the quality of your life. The lack of oxygen triggers your brain to pull you out of a deep sleep so you can breathe normally, and due to these frequent interruptions, can make you feel very tired, restless and irritable during the day – as well as preventing oxygen from getting to major organs.
Usually first noticed by a partner, friend or family member, symptoms include:
- Loud snoring
- Noisy and laboured breathing
- Gasping, choking or snorting
- Night sweats
- Waking up short of breath, or with a dry and/or sore throat
- Frequent urination
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Morning headaches
- Changes in mood or behaviour
- Anxiety or depression
- Decreased libido
Although it’s normal for the muscles in the throat to relax and collapse to some degree while sleeping, a severe form is often caused by a number of factors, including:
- Being overweight, as excessive body fat increases the bulk of soft tissue in the neck, which puts a strain on the throat muscles. This can also often be coupled with breathing difficulties caused by too much stomach fat.
- Being male – possibly due to different patterns of body fat distribution.
- Menopause, as the changes in hormone levels may cause the throat muscles to relax more than normal.
- Age – occurring most commonly in people over 40.
- Taking sedative medicines – such as sleeping tablets.
- Alcohol – particularly when consumed in the evening.
- Nasal congestion
- Family history
If left untreated, sleep apnoea can cause more than just a bad night’s sleep and being tired during the day, including:
- High blood pressure
- Stroke or heart attack
- Type 2 diabetes
- Liver problems
- Poor performance and under-achievement
- An increased risk of accidents, with research showing that someone who has been sleep deprived because of sleep apnoea may be up to 12 times more likely to be involved in a car accident
So, what can we do to help?
Recent studies have shown a direct link between sleep apnoea and bruxism (teeth grinding), which means that dentists are now the first port of call for those with chronic snoring. Utilising the latest technology, therefore, we are delighted to offer APNiA® - a popular alternative for those who do not tolerate treatment with CPAP machines.
The only system on the market that allows diagnosis and subsequent treatment, the APNiA® system consists of an electronic device that performs a sleep and diagnosis study - using the latest software - as well as an intraoral device to treat the patient.
Comfortable and easy-to-use at home, the APNiA® system is the only treatment you’ll need to treat for sleep apnoea.
Contact us today for more information and have a great night’s sleep!
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