Snoring once in awhile isn’t that big of a deal. Well, perhaps your spouse might disagree, but we mean it’s not necessarily a problem terms of your overall well-being. In fact, nearly everyone makes some kind of noise while they sleep.
But if your snoring is very loud and very frequent, that is a different issue. It could be the sign of a more serious problem known as sleep apnea. This is a sleep disorder that goes beyond just loud snoring that annoys your partner at night. It could put you at a higher risk for things like depression, car accidents, and other hazardous problems.
If you suspect you, or someone you love, is suffering from sleep apnea, call Advanced Dental in Las Cruces, NM today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Reiter has many years of training and experience diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, and he will do all he can to help you find relief.
The Importance Of Treating Sleep Apnea
While you sleep, your body gets the rest it needs to recharge and function the way it’s supposed to. But when you have sleep apnea, that simply doesn’t happen. The reason is because all throughout the night, you will be involved in this vicious cycle where you stop breathing for several seconds and then jerk yourself awake as a result. This just keeps repeating, so you never really get the chance to fall into the deep level of sleep your brain and your body desperately need.
Sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles relax and then weigh on your airway, compressing it to the point where you will begin snoring as your narrowed airway fights against that extra weight trying to move air through.
Because this pattern repeats several times a night, as much as 200 times for some sufferers of sleep apnea, you can see how it’s impossible to get adequate sleep that’s truly restful and rejuvenating.
Myths And Realities Of Sleep Apnea
MYTH: Sleep apnea isn’t a big deal because it just makes you tired.
FACT: Sleep apnea is a big deal and can affect much more than your sleep patterns.
Losing one or two nights of restful sleep here and there isn’t a big deal, that’s true. You can always catch up on that lost sleep. But sleep apnea is much more persistent. You’re talking about losing a good night’s sleep night after night after night. Over time, you can imagine how this would affect you!
When you’re that sleep deprived, you are much more vulnerable to distractions, which puts you at a higher risk for having car accidents, for example. You will also fight fatigue at home and at work all throughout the day, making it very difficult to focus or stay alert. Other risks to your health include depression and even hypertension.
You simply cannot function properly on persistent, inadequate sleep. Your body needs rest, period.
MYTH: Sleeping on your side will cure your sleep apnea.
FACT: Because it’s a medical condition, sleep apnea requires diagnosis and treatment.
Anyone who snores on occasion has probably tried a few strategies to put a stop to it. From changing your sleeping position, to nose strips that are meant to keep your airways clear, these strategies will do little if your snoring is being caused by sleep apnea. While you may have experienced temporary relief, effective and lasting relief requires treatment by an experienced and highly trained professional, like Dr. Reiter at Advanced Dental.
MYTH: If I’m not overweight, I won’t get sleep apnea.
FACT: Sleep apnea can affect someone of any age, weight, or gender.
While being overweight puts you at a higher risk for sleep apnea, it can actually affect anyone. Other higher risk groups are people over the age of forty and men. But the truth is, sleep apnea does not discriminate. Anyone can develop it, so even if you’re young, maintain a healthy weight, are physically active, eat a healthy diet, you’re not necessarily immune to this sleep condition.
MYTH: A CPAP machine is the only effective solution for sleep apnea.
FACT: A simple oral appliance can effectively treat sleep apnea.
A CPAP (which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine is a common treatment for sleep apnea sufferers, but wearing a bulky, noisy mask isn’t for everyone. Even though it helps people maintain consistent, steady breathing while they sleep, some people just don’t wear their CPAP mask because it can be uncomfortable.
At Advanced Dental, Dr. Reiter can fit you with an oral appliance that can effectively prevent your airway from closing up, so you can breathe normally and get the restful sleep you desperately need.
Don’t let sleep apnea rob you (or your partner!) from the deep, restful sleep you deserve. Call us at 575-680-1037 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment, and let us help you put your sleep disorder to rest.