A lot of the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) are difficult to detect for yourself. After all, by its very nature, you are asleep while the most obvious symptoms of loud snoring and choking noises occur. If you live with a partner and suspect that you may have OSA, the best thing to do is to ask them to monitor your sleeping pattern and behaviour for you. Here at Parkfield Dental, we always recommend people to seek professional help and treatment if they are worried about OSA and think that they may be suffering from it.
However, there are some symptoms that you can detect by yourself. Ask your partner or someone else to check for:
- Excessively loud snoring
- Gasping and choking for air whilst sleeping
- Periods where you appear to stop breathing while asleep
Things that you can look out for yourself include:
- Difficulty concentrating on things
- Excessive fatigue during the day
- Irritability and anger problems
- Problems both getting to sleep and staying asleep
- Headaches and dry mouth in the morning when waking up
These symptoms may surprise some people, as OSA is most associated with loud snoring and it’s understandable that it can be difficult to see how this affects your body in the other ways that it does.
The fact is that sleep is incredibly important to your health and wellbeing, and OSA can be very disruptive to the quality of your sleep. In most OSA cases, the person actually wakes up briefly every time they need to cope with airway obstruction. As a result, people suffering from OSA often experience severe and significant daytime sleepiness. You may initially experience this while reading, engaging with TV and computer screens, or – most alarmingly – while driving on the road. However, if left untreated, the daytime fatigue can become more severe and interfere with day to day activities.
There are a lot of different symptoms that can indicate sleep deprivation, such as irritability, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and more. These can all indicate OSA, but we recommend looking out for the main symptoms of loud snoring and choking noises, and daytime fatigue. If you think you might have OSA, get in touch with the team here at Parkfield Dental. We are experienced in helping patients to find a suitable treatment for OSA, improving quality of sleep and their energy levels.
The Health Risks Of Sleep Apnoea
If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) can lead to severe and lasting health risks, affecting sufferers’ quality of life. It’s bad enough having disrupted sleeping, loud snoring, and the daytime fatigue and irritability effects of sleep deprivation. But if left unchecked, OSA can begin to severely affect your health.
What can happen is that when your airway is obstructed and becomes closed during sleep, the oxygen levels in your body become restricted and reduced. This forces you briefly awake at intervals during your sleep, but sleep apnoea can also affect your health in other significant ways. Research has linked sleep apnoea to a wide range of different health conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of suffering from a stroke
- Acid reflux
- Weight gain
- Type 2 diabetes
Snoring problems and obstructive sleep apnoea can negatively affect both your day to day life and your long term health and wellbeing. Sleep is crucial to a healthy and happy lifestyle, and without the restorative effects of sleep, you are putting your body at risk. Not to mention the fact that daytime fatigue and drowsiness can put you at risk of underperforming in your role at work and of falling asleep and nodding off while driving.
What Are The Benefits Of Sleep Apnoea Treatment?
Different treatments are suitable for different patients when it comes to snoring and sleep apnoea. There are a few different treatments available, and here at Parkfield our resident expert on the matter, Dr. Joanne Ingleby, will work with you to help find the most suitable solution for you and your individual needs. People react in different ways to sleep apnoea treatment, but the likelihood is that you will begin to feel a range of different benefits. Long-term OSA sufferers who seek sleep apnoea treatment often claim to benefit from:
Apnoea disrupts your sleep and leads to symptoms of sleep deprivation – the most significant of which is probably a severe lack of energy. Sleep apnoea sufferers often say that snoring treatment helps them to feel less sleepy and to have more energy during their day to day and when going about their daily life. You’ll start to feel better both physically and mentally.
You may have experienced problems driving if you are a long-term sufferer of sleep apnoea. There’s a very good chance that you may have experienced drowsiness and difficulty staying awake while driving, especially on the motorway. Those who seek treatment often claim that their ability to drive and concentrate while on the road improves massively with their fatigue and sleep deprivation kept under better control.
- More Ability To Enjoy Daily Activities
There’s no doubt that sleep apnoea makes it difficult to enjoy the normal daily activities and hobbies that you use to unwind and relax in your free time. Reading a book, watching a film, or listening to music can become challenging, simply because it’s difficult to do so without drifting off to sleep. Having more energy allows you to enjoy not just your work, but your free time more as well.
- Your Partner Will Also Benefit
If you live with a partner, then there’s a very good chance that their sleep will have become disrupted because of your sleep apnoea as well. So, by extension of improving your own quality of sleep and life, apnoea treatment will also help to improve that of your partner’s too. You’ll snore and move around in bed much less, and during the day you’ll both benefit from more energy than you are used to – allowing you to enjoy your time together much more!