Questions about Sleep Apnea

Dentist Serving Calgary, Cochrane, Airdrie and Nearby Areas of Alberta

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder characterized by brief interruptions in your breathing while you are asleep. It is most commonly recognized by snoring during the night, and fatigue during the day. Sleep apnea can be a dangerous disorder because it can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure and even strokes.

How can I tell if I may be suffering from sleep apnea?

It can be difficult to recognize whether you are suffering from sleep apnea, because you may not fully wake up at night. Warning signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Interruptions in your breathing while you are asleep (called apnea)  
  • Choking or gasping during sleep in an attempt to get air into the lungs
  • Sudden awakenings to restart breathing or waking up in a sweat
  • Unusual daytime fatigue 

Is snoring the same as sleep apnea?

No. Snoring is a loud sound that you make when trying to breathe and there is an obstruction in your airway. Snoring alone is not a dangerous condition. While many people with sleep apnea do snore, actual sleep apnea sufferers are deprived of oxygen for a brief period, which can negatively impact your health.

What are my treatment options for sleep apnea?

Dr. Gordon Chee can help alleviate your symptoms with a snore guard. This may help with some of the sleep apnea issues.  Other treatment options include the use of a CPAP machine or surgery to remove excessive tissue. These options will need to be explored by a sleep physician.

Who is at risk for sleep apnea?

Risk factors for sleep apnea include family history, obesity, and having a small upper airway. Aging may also play a role in sleep apnea, since a loss of muscle mass can make your airway more vulnerable. Studies show that there are a higher percentage of men who suffer from sleep apnea than women. Other factors that can worsen your sleep apnea or make you more prone to this condition include the use of alcohol, tobacco and sedative drugs. Nasal congestion can also worsen sleep apnea.

If you or your partner suffers from sleep apnea in the Calgary, Alberta area, please contact the Aesthetic Dental Studio online or by phone at 403-543-4600 today for answers to more sleep apnea questions and to schedule your free initial consultation.