How do you know if you have sleep apnoea? And what sleep apnoea treatment options are available?

If you are snoring, waking up tired, experiencing dry mouth, dry throat, excessive daytime sleepiness, weight gain or one of a dozen other symptoms you may have sleep apnoea.

This is not to be flippant, but rather to illustrate that they are many, many different symptoms which can point to sleep apnoea.

10 signs and symptoms of sleep apnoea

If you have a combination of these 10 signs and symptoms, it is highly advisable you see a dentist or other qualified health professional.

The 10 signs and symptoms:

  1. You wake up abruptly, experiencing shortness of breath.
  2. Your partner says not only that you snore loudly but that sometimes you stop breathing while you’re asleep.
  3. You’re irritable and experience mood swings.
  4. More often than not you wake up with headaches.
  5. You sometimes wake up gasping or choking.
  6. You have memory issues as well as finding it difficult to concentrate and pay attention.
  7. You have difficulty sleeping.
  8. You are very tired during the day.
  9. You have some of the risks factors such as smoking tobacco, drinking and are overweight or obese.
  10. You experience dry mouth and/or a sore throat when you wake up.

It should be kept in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. Your age, weight, and lifestyle all play a role in diagnosis. However, this list is a good general overview of the most common signs and symptoms for people of all ages.

Signs of sleep apnoea in children

Sleep apnoea in children is often misdiagnosed as ADD. This is because it can cause:

  • Restlessness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Poor attentiveness
  • Frustration, irritability, and crankiness

These signs and symptoms, along with snoring, poor sleep and fatigue, could indicate your child has sleep apnoea rather than ADD (or ADHD).

When it’s time to visit a healthcare professional

If you are exhibiting any of the warning signs, even if it’s only a handful of the symptoms, you should visit a healthcare professional.

If it does seem likely that your symptoms are indicative of sleep apnoea, you may require a sleep study. This should be able to determine whether or not you do have sleep apnoea and to what extent.

There are three types of sleep apnoea:

  1. Central sleep apnoea (CSA)
  2. Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)
  3. Mixed sleep apnoea (both central and obstructive)

CSA is when your brain doesn’t send signals to the muscles to take a breath.

OSA is when your brain does send the signal but the muscles are unsuccessful in taking a breath. This is because the airways become obstructed preventing an adequate flow of air.

After being diagnosed with sleep apnoea you can see a dental professional to discuss some of your treatment options. At Bite Dental, Dr Julia helps patients experiencing sleep apnoea.

Diagnosis and treatment of OSA

A sleep study is most often used for patients suspected of having OSA. The sleep study tests different physiological and physical parameters while you sleep. The parameters include your brain waves, eye movements, muscle activity, nasal and oral airflow, how loudly you snore, and your blood oxygen levels.

This data is then collected and assessed by a specialist. They will then be able to tell the extent of the sleep apnoea and what the best course of treatment is.

Treatment for OSA

The CPAP machine and a dental mouthguard are two viable options for treating OSA. The CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is a mask or nose piece that delivers constant and steady air pressure.

This helps sleep apnoea sufferers breathe normally while they sleep. And while this is an effective treatment method, some patients find it difficult to sleep with a mask on.

An alternative treatment is a type of dental mouthguard known as a mandibular advancement device (MAD). This is not the same type of mouthguard used for sports of the prevention of bruxism.

The Mandibular advancement device looks like a regular mouthguard and is designed to push your lower jaw and tongue forward to keep your airway open.

The type—and severity—of your sleep apnoea will determine what is the best treatment option. The only way to know for sure if you have sleep apnoea is to book a consultation with a qualified healthcare professional.

Get a $95 Sleep Apnoea & Snoring Consultation at Bite Dental

Bite Dental is now offering a one-hour consultation with Dr Julia to determine treatment options for patients suffering from sleep apnoea. During this appointment you will speak with Dr Julia to determine your candidacy for different treatment options, you may also be able to have impressions and measurements taken during the appointment.

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