Are you one of the millions of people who snore each night when they sleep? There are several causes of this common condition, but sleep apnea is often the culprit. Dr. Steven Kacel is a dentist near Highland Park, IL that diagnoses and treats sleep apnea.
Medical issues relating to sleep are often only addressed at regular hospitals and specialized treatment centers, but dentists are well positioned to be of assistance. They have an ideal view of the throat during examination, so they can see if it is anatomically blocked – and if so, to what degree. It can be hard to find a dentist who treats sleep apnea, but Dr. Kacel is a top-rated dentist in the Deerfield, IL and Northbrook area.
What is Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects how you breathe when you are asleep. Without treatment, the sleep apnea patient will experience sudden bouts of interrupted or shallow breathing. Often they will stop breathing altogether for one to twenty seconds at a time, which makes it difficult to get the necessary amount of sleep. Some sleep apnea patients fight falling asleep, while others wake multiple times throughout the night and struggle to fall back asleep. Others don’t even realize that they’ve woken or stopped breathing, but will nonetheless feel fatigued and sleep-deprived.
There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common, and is caused by tissue in the back of the throat relaxing and blocking air while the sufferer sleeps. Central sleep apnea is caused by the central nervous system. The brain fails to communicate correctly with the muscles that control breathing, so the patient will go long periods without breathing during sleep. They rarely snore, though. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both kinds.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Loud snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea. Many people don’t know that there is an issue until their spouse brings it up. Snoring is often annoying and disruptive, but it can be downright disturbing to wake and realize that your partner has stopped breathing altogether (if only momentarily). Both of these symptoms are the main reasons that patients seek treatment. Other related symptoms include:
- Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headache
- Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
- Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
- Attention problems
Treatments for Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Highland Park, IL area dentist Dr. Kacel offers comprehensive evaluation and treatment options for snoring and sleep apnea concerns. The first step is determining which type you suffer from. Then, Dr. Kacel will make suggestions to fit your condition and lifestyle. Some people may find the problem is completely resolved just by them losing weight, which reduces extra tissue in the back of the throat. Others may need a oral appliance to help them, and severe cases can require the use of an oxygen mask and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device.