In popular consciousness, sleep apnea is often conceived an inconvenience or an annoyance. You lose some sleep, but that's it. The reality is that sleep apnea poses significant risks to your health, and can even prove fatal if left untreated for a long enough period of time.
This means diagnosing and treating your sleep apnea is incredibly important. Even more important is observing the risk factors for sleep apnea and making changes in your lifestyle in order to reduce your risk of suffering from this condition.
If you live in the Denver, Colorado, area and you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, speak to your physician. Our dentist can also play a significant role in creating a treatment plan. Please call Scott Greenhalgh, DDS, today at 303-988-9060 for a consultation.
Preventing Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can strike just about anyone, but there are a series of lifestyle and environmental factors that contribute to the condition. In a way, this is actually good news – there are steps you can take to protect yourself from obstructive sleep apnea.
Common sleep apnea risk factors include:
- Weight (obesity is closely linked to sleep apnea)
- Race (African-Americans are more prone to obstructive sleep apnea)
- Gender (men are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea)
- Neck thickness
Now, some of these factors are obviously out of your control. But it's certainly possible (and advisable) to quit smoking and cut back on the alcohol consumption while engaging in some diet and exercise.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Of course, you can do everything right and still find yourself suffering from what might be sleep apnea. It's important that you not ignore your symptoms – you should see your doctor immediately and have your condition diagnosed as soon as possible.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Daytime exhaustion
- Repeatedly waking up gasping during the night
- Persistent snoring
- Morning headaches
- Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth
Some of these symptoms are difficult to observe in yourself- many sleep apnea episodes don't occur when you're conscious, and people are notoriously bad at knowing if they snore. As such, it's often a good idea to ask a sleep partner if he or she has noticed anything unusual.
If you live in the Denver, Colorado, area and you need a dentist experienced in sleep apnea treatments, please call Scott Greenhalgh, DDS, in Lakewood today at 303-988-9060.