If you’ve been in the unfortunate habit of losing sleep, then those two words might seem harder to grasp than the Holy Grail itself.
Yet unlike that mythical cup, there’s no great mystery surrounding the cause of your fitful slumbering: Snoring.
Either it’s you or it’s a partner, but the fact remains is that, once the lights go off and you tuck yourself in, you are greeted by yet another performance courtesy of the Bedroom Saw Blade Symphony. Their musician get plenty of practice, but it’s the same annoying song each night.
Depending upon how long this has been going on will determine how badly you, your partner, or (most likely) both of you are suffering. Sleep deprivation carries with it a series of harmful side-effects, not the least of which is irritability in the mornings. It can make it hard to concentrate on conversations with loved ones, or collaborating with coworkers.
Before long, you could be getting sick as a result of problems with your immune system, which will only snowball from there into larger, more difficult problems down the road.
Yet if the culprit behind your fitful night’s sleep is a disorder known as sleep apnea, the results could eventually be death.
It’s nothing to turn your nose up at: A study released last month by the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that sufferers of untreated, severe sleep apnea were three times more likely to die prematurely than people without the disorder.
I am not trying to be morbid; rather, by pointing out the sobering, tragic facts, I can help motivate you to seek treatment, either for yourself or for a loved one.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Have you ever used the hose attachment on a vacuum cleaner that became clogged? When that happens, you can hear the motor inside the vacuum start to whine loudly as it tries to overcompensate for the obstruction. In other words, it has to work harder to suck in air because of the blockage, and simply won’t clean as well as it used to.
Failing to remove that obstruction can, over time, cause the motor to burn out and require you to either take the vacuum cleaner into a shop for repairs, or to simply buy a new one. In either case, the vacuum cleaner simply dies.
The people in your life cannot be replaced like a household appliance, but fortunately, they can be treated by a Nashua dentist like me.
Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat becomes distended, effectively blocking your airways. Your lungs have to work harder than normal to provide oxygen to your brain, and as a result, your snoring is a byproduct of literally having to fight to breathe while you sleep. Many sufferers actually stop breathing correctly multiple times each hour on any given night. Eventually, the condition can cause brain damage or even death in its most extreme forms.
So if you’re wondering how a dentist of all people can help fix this problem and potentially save your life or the life of a member of your family in the process, then let me tell you.
I offer two types of of sleep apnea treatment, with the differences being a matter of how severe your sleep apnea really is.
For many cases, I can design and craft a special mouthguard that is based upon the shape and contours of your smile. It’s the same process that I’d used to, say, make dentures, or a mouthguard, but the mouthguard in this case is very special.
A sleep apnea mouthguard will re-position your jaw into a more comfortable position that will prevent that soft tissue from blocking your airway. It’s a simple solution to a dangerous problem, and can get you sleeping again in no time!
If you or a loved one are suffering from a more severe form of the condition, then a CPAP machine, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, might be in order. It’s essentially a plastic mask connecting to a specialized air-pump which creates a constant stream of air inside of your respiratory system that keeps the blockage from ever occurring. It can be a little noisy and cumbersome, but it’s nowhere near the level of annoyance and danger posed by apnea-induced snoring.
Schedule Your ‘Sleep Test” ASAP!
Before I can offer you any of these treatments, you must call me to set up and appointment so that I can get you properly tested to determine whether sleep apnea is the cause of your snoring, and if so, how severe it really is.