Signs of Sleep Apnea

Lately I’ve noticed that I’ll wake up suddenly in a panic because I have an extreme shortness of breath. My friend mentioned it could be sleep apnea and I’m worried because my dad has sleep apnea.

Can you tell me what the symptoms are and if it may be hereditary?

– Carla

Obstructive sleep apnea may have some ties to heredity, especially if you are overweight. In fact, close to 90% of individuals with obstructive sleep apnea are obese which is a significant risk factor. Other health risks include high blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain, and some deal with depression that is linked to the disruption in normal sleep patterns.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring loudly,]
  • Waking up not feeling refreshed
  • Gasping for air when you wake up in the night
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Possible headaches first thing when you wake up

You should probably see a sleep apnea specialist to undergo a sleep study. You may be surprised at how frequently you wake up at night. Individuals with sleep apnea sometimes wake up hundreds of times.

Treatments for sleep apnea include surgery or a CPAP breathing machine. There are less invasive non-surgical ways to treat sleep apnea. You may be interested in dental appliances that are mouth pieces customized for a perfect fit. They simply involve wearing them at night. One of the popular appliances is the SomnoDent Appliance. This treatment repositions the jaw into a forward position so your airway remains open while you are sleeping. It prevents snoring too. The first step is to meet with a sleep apnea dentist or a general physician so you can be properly diagnosed.

Best of luck!

This post is sponsored by Phoenix dentist Arthur Chal Reconstructive and Esthetic Dentistry.

Another condition that can be treated with a night guard mouth piece is TMJ disorder. Visit this page to learn more: TMJ treatment.

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