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How Do You Know If You Have Sleep Apnea?

May 30, 2024
How Do You Know If You Have Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. However, the vast majority of cases go undiagnosed, and therefore go untreated. This is often because people are often unaware that they have sleep apnea. It can be difficult to self-diagnose because you are asleep when the problem occurs, and if you live alone there is no one to notice your symptoms. 

Then how do you know if you have sleep apnea? Here are the most common signs. 

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when your airway becomes obstructed while you are asleep, resulting in pauses in breathing that disrupt your natural sleep cycles. It is primarily caused by your tongue sliding back toward your throat, but may also be caused by a general narrowing of the airway. 

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea 

The following signs and symptoms may indicate that you have sleep apnea: 

  • Snoring, especially loud snoring
  • Pauses in breathing when sleeping (as noticed by someone else)
  • Feeling sleepy a lot of the time
  • A general lack of energy
  • Dozing off easily during the day
  • You have fallen asleep at the wheel
  • Headaches, especially in the morning
  • Frequent dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
  • You wake up gasping for air
  • Lack of concentration 
  • Irritability 

How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

If you have any of the above symptoms often enough, you may have sleep apnea. The first step should be to contact your dentist to set up a consultation and evaluation. Dentists can provide diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea without the need to see a sleep specialist. Through an oral evaluation and some general questions, your dentist can determine if you have sleep apnea and what is causing it. They can assess the shape of your jaw and the position and condition of your teeth to determine if sleep apnea is likely. 

Treatment for Sleep Apnea 

Sleep apnea is typically treated in one of two ways: 

  • Oral appliance. Your dentist can provide you with a snore guard that positions your lower jaw so that your tongue cannot slide back to block your airway. 
  • CPAP machine. A CPAP machine consists of a mask placed over the nose and/or mouth that delivers a constant flow of air that keeps your airway open while you sleep. 

Many patients prefer an oral appliance over a CPAP machine because it is comfortable, compact, and silent. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Apnea 

Does a snore guard work as well as a CPAP? 

Most patients experience improvement in symptoms and general health when using a snore guard. Spouses and partners also report improvements in sleep as a result of the treatment. In rare cases, sleep apnea will require a CPAP machine for effective treatment. 

What health problems are related to sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and other types of serious health conditions. Diagnosis and treatment is extremely important to improve health and quality of life. 

Why Choose Metropolitan Dental Care?

If you have one or more symptoms of sleep apnea, contact Metropolitan Dental Care. We specialize in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea disorders and provide treatment from a dental perspective in the form of a snore guard. Our snore guards are custom made to fit comfortably and provide relief of your symptoms. Get started today and experience better quality sleep and improved health. 
To learn more, call 212-867-4223 or contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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New York, NY 10016
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275 Madison Ave, Suite 2118
New York, NY 10016