Sleep apnoea occurs when the walls of the throat come together during sleep, blocking off the upper airway & stopping breathing for a period of time. It generally lasts for a few seconds or up to one minute, until the brain registers the lack of breathing or drop in oxygen levels and sends a small wake-up call. The sleeper rouses slightly, opens the upper airway, typically snorts and gasps, then drifts back to sleep almost immediately.
Some of the associated symptoms of sleep apnoea include:
Daytime sleepiness, fatigue and tiredness
Irritability and noticeable mood changes
Impotence and reduced sex drive
Frequently going to the bathroom at nighttime.
Causes of sleep apnoea
Obesity is one of the most common causes of sleep apnoea, with other contributors being:
Alcohol (especially in the evening as it relaxes the throat muscles & hampers the brains reaction to breathing)
Sleeping tablets and sedatives (or similar medications)
Nasal congestion and obstruction
Facial bone shape and muscle size (such as an undershot jaw)
Certain illnesses such as reduced thyroid production or an enlarged goitre.
Large tonsils (especially in children)
MC Dental can assist with the treatment of sleep apnoea. Call us today on (03) 8608 8968 to book an appointment.