Dr. Lacy Gilbert is an Invisalign Preferred Provider
Snoring can be a humorous topic among family or friends. We all have that one uncle that can “peel wallpaper right off the wall”. The actual cause of snoring can unfortunately be quite detrimental to your health. If the snoring can be heard through walls, this is usually a sign of sleep apnea. It is a breathing disorder where the airway gets narrowed or blocked during sleep. The worst case scenario is called obstructive sleep apnea. Breathing in this situation actually stops periodically and starts up again with a loud snort or gasp. That stoppage of breathing can be bothersome, even scary, to those nearby.
Obstructive sleep apnea poses some serious health risks. Throughout the night, the individual with this disorder may stop breathing up to a few hundred times a night. When our body sleeps, it fixes and rejuvenates itself. If that pattern is disrupted, it can actually lower our immune system. Without a proper breathing pattern established throughout the night, the body’s oxygen level decreases. This can put someone at risk of heart disease, high blood-pressure, diabetes, or stroke.1 However, there are treatments available that do not involve surgery.
A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is a great solution used by millions. When the person is sleeping, the machine assists by keeping a constant air pressure in the airway to keep it open. It is sometimes difficult for people to swallow their pride and push aside potential embarrassment by using a CPAP machine. CPAP machines have been known to be noisy and uncomfortable to wear. However, newer machines are smaller and less intrusive. It might take a little getting used to, because it covers the mouth and nose completely. With the forced airflow, your mouth and sinuses may become dry or runny. However, the benefits of this machine far outweigh any discomfort.
Lack of a good night sleep almost guarantees that the next day is less than stellar. Some symptoms include loss of focus, irritability, and the possibility of falling asleep potentially anywhere. That last one is important. People that fall asleep at the wheel are the cause of many fatal accidents every year.
According to one local provider, Pelican Landing Dental, the health risks of a sleep apnea sufferer NOT using CPAP are very real. It is very important for the CPAP to be used every night. Our bodies need oxygen to survive and depriving ourselves of that oxygen is harmful to our health. Getting a good night sleep every night will change someone’s life. Their job, family, bed partners, and health will all benefit.
There are machines with masks that can be customized for real comfort. Others automatically adjust the air pressure to adhere to their individual needs.
Depending on what the doctor recommends, there are many options for using CPAP machines. If obstructive sleep apnea seems to be a current issue, do not hesitate to get an opinion. For more information on sleep apnea or why a CPAP can be a real life saver, contact Pelican Landing Dental in Bonita Springs at 239-948-2111.
Drs. Rich and Lacy Gilbert
23451 Walden Center Drive, Suite 100
Bonita Springs, Florida 34134