Sleep apnea is a surprisingly common condition that prevents patients from getting the deep, restful nights sleep that they need. But how exactly does sleep apnea develop? Our Lincoln Park sleep apnea dentists are here to help you understand how this condition develops, and how it affects peoples’ lives.
So let’s start with the basics: sleep apnea, as the name suggests, is a condition that manifests when the patient is asleep. When we are awake we are able to, largely unconsciously, monitor our breathing patterns, and position our jaws, etc., in a way that facilitates airflow. However, when we fall asleep, our oral tissues relax. These tissues can actually relax in such a away that they fall over the airway, making it harder to breathe—this is sleep apnea.
Once the tissues are obstructing the airway, the patient struggles to maintain a healthy blood oxygen level. The patient exhibit snoring, because they are trying to force air over and through the obstruction.
Your body cannot survive with low blood oxygen levels, so after a period of time, after your oxygen levels have dipped low enough, your body will wake itself so that it can breathe normally again. Unfortunately, this self preservation measure interrupts your healthy REM cycle. So, basically, when you suffer from sleep apnea, you aren’t able to get the kind of high quality sleep that you need in order to feel refreshed and energized the next day.
Long term sleep apnea can also increase your risk of suffering from many whole-body health conditions: heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and more. As you can see, it is very important to seek treatment for sleep apnea as soon as you suspect there is a problem.
Our Lincoln Park sleep apnea dentists are happy to give you additional information, and to schedule a consultation for you. Please call us to get started.