Author Terry Pratchett once said, “A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other snores.” Does this sound like you?
Maybe you have been asked to sleep on the couch the night before your spouse has a big presentation. Or you have been mistaken for a lumberjack because you sound like a chainsaw when you sleep!
All joking aside, snoring can wreak serious havoc on your partner’s ability to sleep. And it can also be a symptom of a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Folks with sleep apnea frequently stop breathing in their sleep.
When you stop breathing because of sleep apnea, your heart rate slows down to preserve oxygen (which you’re not getting because you’re not breathing). If you have sleep apnea, you may wake up gasping, your heart pounding. That’s because your heart started beating faster to wake you up.
As you can imagine, this is tremendously unsafe. Your body is doing its best to keep you out of danger, but sleep apnea makes that impossible. Slowing down and speeding up, dozens or hundreds of times every night puts an overwhelming amount of stress on your heart. Severe cases of untreated sleep apnea can even cause brain damage from lack of oxygen!
Now, not all people who snore have sleep apnea. And not all people who have sleep apnea are chronic snorers.
There is a lot of misinformation about sleep apnea out there. Houston Uptown Dentists wants to set the record straight. Our own Dr. Juarez is thoroughly trained in sleep apnea treatment. She also started Sweet Dreams Sleep Solutions in Houston, TX to provide patients with a better quality of life.
Get To Know The Truth About Sleep Apnea
Dr. Juarez is passionate about sleep disorder treatment because her husband has sleep apnea, making her an empathetic expert. Read on to see how we separate fact from fiction when it comes to sleep apnea.
Fiction: I do not snore, so I do not have sleep apnea.
Fact: Snoring is often a symptom of sleep apnea, but not always. Other symptoms include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Dry mouth, sore throat, or a headache upon waking
If you experience these symptoms and have no explanation, or your partner notices you gasping or not breathing while you sleep, to schedule an appointment for a diagnosis.
Fiction: Snoring is annoying, but it is not dangerous.
Fact: Snoring does not always indicate sleep apnea, but it is a risk factor. It’s better to see a doctor for an evaluation than to possibly live with a life-threatening illness.
Fiction: Sleep apnea is not a big deal.
Fact: Sleep apnea is a very serious condition! If left untreated it can lead to:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
Fiction: Only middle-aged, obese men get sleep apnea.
Fact: Sleep apnea does not discriminate. Men, women, and children of every weight and age can have it.
Fiction: You have to go to a sleep lab for a diagnosis of sleep apnea.
Fact: Maybe if you saw another dentist! Our office offers a take-home sleep test that is evaluated by a Texas boarded sleep physician. You can sleep in your own bed and still receive a diagnosis.
Fiction: If you have sleep apnea, your only option is a CPAP machine.
Fact: We offer a variety of treatments based on what you need. You may find relief from sleeping on your side! If not, treatment options include:
- CPAP machine
- Custom-made oral appliance
- Nightlase™ laser therapy
Fiction: If you wear a CPAP machine, you will look ugly.
Fact: People always look better when they’re alive! In all seriousness, well-rested people rank as more attractive on surveys. Haven’t you heard of beauty sleep?
Now That You Know About Sleep Apnea, Do Something About It!
Your untreated sleep apnea is like a time bomb. There is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. Without it, you are at a higher risk for high cholesterol, obesity, and depression. And it does not matter how much sleep you are getting if it is of a poor quality.
This is not just a problem for future you. People often laugh at snoring, but if you have sleep apnea, that snore is a gasp for breath. Those moments when you stop breathing at night are moments when you are suffocating.
Do not wait any longer. Call Houston Uptown Dentists today at 832-463-1021 to treat your sleep apnea and give yourself a better quality of life now and in the future.