NEWS / 23 JUL 2014
Mid-winter greetings from the team at Eve Dental!
It’s that time of year when the cold winter blues can make it just that more difficult to wake up in the morning. Are you waking up tired, fatigued with a headache every morning?
If you’re experiencing this on a regular basis, there may be more to it.
The following 4 symptoms, could indicate a potential of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea:
1. Difficulty waking in the morning, feeling drowsy, tired and unrefreshed despite at least 6-8 hours of sleep
2. Feeling sleepy or tired and falling asleep during the day
3. Loud or heavy snoring
4. Choking or stopping breathing during sleep
These symptoms may well be due to blockage in the air passages.
There are multiple areas that can impact the air passages, including:
- adenoids (mass of tissue between nose and throat containing immune cells)
- soft palate
- uvula (fleshy extension at the back of the soft palate which hangs above the throat)
- base of tongue
- lingual tonsils (prominent mass of tissue at base of the tongue containing immune cells)
Snoring is a problem caused by blockage of the air passages. A severe type of snoring is called Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. Breathing obstruction may only occur for an instant during the night. When this occurs there is a reduced intake of oxygen and the levels of oxygen in the blood fall. The body wakes in response to detecting the low level of oxygen to open up the air passages to return to oxygen level to normal. This process can occur up to 50 – 100 times an hour in severe Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
This repeated disruption of sleep and normal breathing leads to increased risk of:
- high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke
- decreased long term brain function and poor concentration and memory
- depression and death
It is important to look into risk factors early on in order to detect and investigate this problem.
That’s why your Eve Dentists routinely carry out examination of the air passages as part of your comprehensive dental examinations.