Sleep Apnoea

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Tired of feeling tired?

Sleep apnoea can have a devastating impact on your quality of life. Luckily, there is a solution.

It may be time to get a check-up. Sleep apnoea is a common sleep disorder that can have severe effects on your lifestyle and your health. It is caused by the soft tissue in the mouth blocking the airways as your muscles relax during sleep.

Our sleep apnoea treatment procedure is a simple and effective way to improve your sleep quality, reduce snoring and reduce your risk of other health problems that may result from severe sleep apnoea.

If your sleep physician has recommended oral appliance therapy as a suitable treatment option, our dentists at Redland Bay Smiles will be able to provide a dental appliance that is right for you. Our devices are made with safe materials that are approved for use in your mouth and clinically tested for effective treatment.

There are many types of dental appliances that are specifically designed to treat sleep apnoea. It is helpful to know what you’re looking for when choosing such a device, making sure that it is safe, hygienic and comfortable for your personal use.

Our dentists will be able to advise you on the best available options, relative to your individual needs and budget. To make an informed decision, it pays to find out how the innovative devices work and their benefits.

what is sleep apnoea

What is Sleep Apnoea?

Sleep apnoea is a sleeping disorder that usually expresses itself as repeated starts and stops in breathing patterns. If you've ever found yourself (or your partner) falling asleep and gasping awake, or noticed their breathing halting for several breaths before they gasp or snore, that may be sleep apnoea.

What causes Sleep Apnoea?

The most common type of sleep apnoea is obstructive sleep apnoea, caused by the muscles in the throat relaxing and obstructing the airways.

Can Sleep Apnoea be Treated?

There is a broad range of treatment options available to sufferers of obstructive sleep apnoea. Before you pursue any sleep apnoea treatment, you should speak to a professional to ensure that you get the right treatment for you.

What are the symptoms of Sleep Apnoea

The symptoms of sleep apnoea vary from person to person, and can depend on the type of sleep apnoea that you are suffering from. Common symptoms of sleep apnoea include:
  • Snoring: This is by far the most common symptom. Many people are not even aware that they have sleep apnoea until their partner points out their loud snoring.
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep: Like snoring, many people do not realise that they stop breathing for periods while sleeping until their partner alerts them.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty getting to sleep, or staying asleep, may be caused by sleep apnoea. Many people who purport to suffer from insomnia are in fact experiencing disrupted sleep patterns due to sleep apnoea.
  • Morning Headaches: Feeling rough in the morning, having a pounding head or a general headache feeling may be a sign that you are suffering from sleep apnoea, particularly if it's reasonably consistent in the absence of other explanations.
  • Daytime Tiredness: Being extremely tired during the day (sometimes referred to as hypersomnia) is a good indicator that you are not getting enough sleep at night. If you find yourself struggling to get through each day, it may be because your sleep is being interrupted.
  • Dry Mouth: Waking up with an excessively dry mouth may be an indicator that you have sleep apnoea.
  • Frustration and Irritability: This feelings often arise from a lack of sleep, but some people may not necessarily immediately attribute them to that. Interrupted sleep will often make people more irritable during the day.

What are the Types of Sleep Apnoea?

Sleep apnoea, its symptoms and its effects can vary greatly from person to person. There are three main types of sleep apnoea:
  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea: This is the most common type of sleep apnoea. This is caused by muscles in the throat relaxing and restricting the airways.
  2. Central Sleep Apnoea: This is an issue with the brain sending the correct signals to the muscles which control breathing during sleep.
  3. Complex Sleep Apnoea Syndrome: This arises when someone is suffering from both central sleep apnoea and obstructive sleep apnoea.

What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?

Obstructive sleep apnoea occurs due to the muscles in the throat relaxing. The muscles right at the back of your throat support your soft palate, which is attached to your tonsils, your tongue and the sides of your throat. When these muscles relax, your entire airway closes in and becomes greatly restricted.

At this point, your brain's survival instincts will trigger and wake you up, very briefly, in order to breathe. This can be expressed as snorting or gasping, and most people don't even realise it's happening. Over a single night of sleep, this might happen hundreds of times. By being unable to fall fully asleep for more than a few minutes at a time, you are misisng out on the deeper phases of the sleep cycle that are critical for good rest.

What are the Effects of Sleep Apnoea?

The impact of sleep apnoea on quality of life can be devastating, but it can also have significant negative health impacts. Some of the more detrimental effects of allowing sleep apnoea to go untreated include:
  • Fatigue: Being repeatedly awoken during the night can take its toll during the day. You may find yourself falling asleep, getting through the day in an exceedingly drowsy state, or maybe begin making small mistakes. Having difficulty concentrating or staying alert can have severe consequences in some industries. If you are responsible for driving heavy machinery (or even driving yourself to work), daytime drowsiness could be deadly.
  • Cardiac Concerns: Because your body isn't receiving the levels of oxygen it needs while you sleep (and experiencing significant spikes and dips in blood oxygen levels), your cardiovascular system will likely be under greatly increased strain. Over time, this may lead to increased blood pressure and even a higher risk of heart attack.
  • Relationship Breakdown: Sleeping next to someone who is constantly snorting, gasping or jerking themselves awake throughout the night can have a poor impact on sleep quality. Sleep Apnoea can lead to partners shifting into different bedrooms or possibly even having difficulties during the day due to sleep deprivation-induced irritability.
  • Diabetes: Sleep apnoea is correlated with a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and suffering from insulin resistance.
  • Metabolic Syndrome: High cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and a high weight are all linked with both sleep apnoea and heart disease.

Recover your quality of life and get a good night's sleep. Book an appointment today.

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