What happens when
you have sleep apnea?
01. Air stops flowing.Your lungs stop receiving air for 10 seconds or more, which means you’ve stopped breathing.
02. The brain sends a signal.Thanks to that, your body wakes up and restarts your breathing before allowing you to fall back asleep.
03. The cycle is repeated...Once, 10 times, sometimes 100 of times a night! Most people with sleep apnoea are unaware how impaired their sleep is.
Sleep apnea has a strong impact on your days.nights .
It is not so simple to see the link between feeling irritable during the day and suffering from sleep apnea at night. If you are able to relate to one or more of the following symptoms, then you should perhaps look further into it...
- Waking up tired
- Morning headaches
- Memory problems and difficulty concentrating
- Irritability and impatience
- Reduced intellectual performance
- Learning disabilities
It is strange to still feel tired after a long night's sleep, isn't it? Sleep apnea deprives our body of a 100% restorative sleep:
- Loud snoring every night
- Suffocating or gasping for air at night
- Frequent awakenings and/or insomnia
- Waking up frequently to use the toilet (nocturia)
- Night sweats
- Nocturnal heartburn
- Palpitations or elevated heart rate
What is the treatment?
An oral applianceA dental device is used to hold the lower jaw forward to facilitate the passage of air, without any additional health risks.
Positive pressure ventilationContinuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy (PAP or CPAP) delivers pressurised air through a mask to keep the upper airways open throughout the night.
SurgeryThose who do not want to use masks or for whom they are not the best option, may consider a surgical procedure (nose, tonsils or adenoid surgery, bariatric surgery).
Positional therapyThis involves learning to sleep without lying on the back, training the patient to sleep on their side to avoid gravitational effect on the tissues at the back of the throat which may cause apnea.
Nutrition monitoring (lifestyle and weight loss)Following healthy eating habits can significantly improve symptoms. With weigh loss, the tissues at the back of the throat become thinner and the airways are free for easy passage of air.
Myofunctional therapyMyofunctional therapy (MFT), done mainly in children, is based on building the muscle strength of the tongue, mouth and upper airways through a series of strengthening exercises.