Image by Liz Zmuda via Flickr
Obstructive Sleep apnoea can affect you, no matter what your age group is. In fact, it affects around 4 % of the Australian population, and sometimes goes undiagnosed and untreated. I'm not surprsied by this statistic as I know of a fair few people suffering from forms of this and suspect my husband does, although he hasn't had it formally diagnosed.
If you are wondering what it is, simply put, OSA happens when your airway becomes blocked, stopping the flow of air and causing gasping, choking, and irregular breathing during sleep cycles. You may not even be aware of it, but its effects can cause havoc on your life.
Obstructive sleep apnoea causes so many symptoms, such as excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, difficulty concentrating, depression, and memory loss, all of which affect your quality of life in your career and your relationships.
Without a restful night of sleep, OSA sufferers often find themselves extremely tired throughout the day. This makes it difficult to function throughout the day and hinder job productivity. It can even be dangerous if you find yourself falling asleep at the wheel while driving and causing a car accident. Many people blame it on getting older and slowing down when they find themselves dozing off in front of a favourite television show or while reading a book.
OSA sufferers often struggle with a plethora of medical issues, including arthritis and diabetes. Those that suffer from a more severe form of OSA are at even greater risk of cardiovascular issues, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, or a risk of a stroke. Not only are these issues serious, but they can incur expensive medical bills with doctor and hospital visits.
OSA also often causes memory loss. Sufferers struggle with concentration, remembering events, memory impairment, as well as decreased attention and slower reaction times. These issues often affect people on the job and, together with daytime sleepiness, hinder productivity.
OSA sufferers often find their mood out of balance and themselves depressed. In fact, you may have been battling with depression for years and not even know why. Depression affects not only you but those close to you because as you pull away and refuse social invitations, friends and family will wonder what's wrong.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea often causes problems for both you and your partner as well since neither of you may sleep well at night. Your partner sleeps restlessly to make sure that they hear your episodes of gasping and choking and you don't harm yourself. Alternatively, your snoring may be so loud that they may not be able to sleep so they may choose to sleep in another bedroom, which affects your marriage.
A Better Option
There is hope though. You do not need to suffer alone or keep on with treatments that are not working. Try visiting a sleep apnoea clinic, where certified dentists who are experts in sleep apnoea can fit you with a dental appliance that will open your airways and help you breathe better.
Believe it or not, dentists can often spot the first signs of OSA just by examining your mouth and your jaw, and work together with your sleep specialist to formulate the best treatment option for you. What are you waiting for? Call a Sound Sleeper dentist today.
"This post is contributed by Regelene Taylor'