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Sleep Apnea

Woman covering ears while husband snoresSleep Apnea is a severe sleeping disorder where breathing may stop and start again while an individual sleeps. Loud snoring is one of the most common symptoms. Individuals may also experience tiredness even after a full night’s sleep. Madison Family Dental Associates can go over the symptoms and explore possible treatment options of the disease, as well as the risks that come along with it.

Forms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea has three types. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common type of sleep apnea and usually arises when the muscles at the back of our throat are relaxed and cause narrowing of air passageways. Central sleep apnea is where the brain does not send proper signals to the muscles. The third and most severe kind of sleep apnea is the complex sleep apnea syndrome or otherwise known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea. It is the result of a situation where the patient has obstructive as well as central sleep apnea.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Symptoms of both obstructive and central sleep apnea usually overlap, causing it to become difficult distinguishing between both disorders. These include loud snoring, which is a potentially severe symptom and requires serious attention. Episodes where an individual might stop breathing at night for a short while, which is reported by another person, gasping for air during sleep and waking up with a parched mouth and morning headache. The individual may also suffer from insomnia and hypersomnia, which is difficulty falling asleep at night and desire to sleep during the day. Irritability and difficulty in paying attention again come along with the other symptoms.

How Sleep Apnea Occurs?

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when muscles in the back of the throat relax, and the support to the soft palette is taken away, leading to the narrowing of air passageways. This leads to not taking enough air and oxygen leading to lower blood oxygen levels. The brain senses this and sends a signal and wakes up the individual, so the air passageways return to their standard shape, and the oxygen is compensated. This awakening period is usually so short that the individual does not even remember it. In contrast, central sleep apnea,, although a less common form, but is caused when the brain does not send enough signals to the throat muscles. Due to this, there is no effort for breathing at all for a short period, and the patient wakes up with shortness of breath and suffers from a difficult time falling and staying asleep.

Risk Factors

A few risk factors that lead to a person getting sleep apnea include obesity, smoking, alcohol, nasal congestion, family history, other medical conditions, and specifically heart disorders when it comes to central sleep apnea. Elderly and males are more likely to get sleep apnea.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

For mild cases, our physician might recommend a change of lifestyle, which may include quitting smoking and weight loss. If no improvement is seen, then oral appliances may be used along with treatment methods like continuous positive air passageway pressure, adaptive servo-ventilation, supplemental oxygen, and air pressure devices.

Sleep apnea is a condition that has affected many people as it may come along with other sets of diseases. For more information on sleep apnea feel free to contact Madison Family Dental Associates at 608-274-5970.
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5709 Odana Road,
Madison, WI 53719



Mon - Thurs: 7 am - 7 pm
Friday: 7 am - 4 pm


502 Nelson Court,
DeForest, WI 53532



Monday: 8 am - 5 pm
Tuesday: 7 am - 4 pm
Wednesday: 8 am - 5 pm
Thursday: 8 am - 5 pm
Friday: Closed
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