Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that can significantly affect your quality of life. If you have sleep apnea, you may experience daytime exhaustion and feel like you are not able to live a productive, fulfilling life. Additionally, you may make it difficult for your partner to sleep and increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other health complications.

The good news is that Costa Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is here to help patients in the Aldie, VA area effectively treat their sleep apnea. We understand that sleep apnea can take a serious toll on your life and can provide you with the education and resources necessary to improve it.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three main types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common and arises when your throat muscles relax. There’s also central sleep apnea, which is when your brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. It is possible for you to have both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. In the event you do have both, you have what’s called complex apnea syndrome.

Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
Some people are more likely to get sleep apnea than others. Let’s take a look at some of the most common risk factors of this condition.

Excess Weight
If you are overweight or obese, you are more likely to develop sleep apnea than someone who is in good physical shape. Why? Because fat deposits around your upper airway may interfere with your breathing.

Gender
Research has shown that men are two to three times more likely to get sleep apnea than women. Women, however, raise their risk for this condition if they have passed the menopause stage and are obese or overweight.

Smoking
Smoking increases inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway. Therefore, smokers are more likely to get sleep apnea than people who have never picked up a cigarette.

Family History
Genetics does play a role in sleep apnea. If your parent or grandparent is living with sleep apnea, you are at a higher risk for this condition.

Nasal Congestion
If you have problems breathing through your nose because of allergies, structural issues, or another issue, you may develop obstructive sleep apnea.

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The most common type of sleep apnea, which occurs when the throat muscles relax is obstructive sleep apnea. If you are living with this condition, you may display the following signs and symptoms:

  • Snoring
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Breathing pauses
  • Challenges with memory and concentration
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Frequently waking up to urinate at night
  • Dry mouth
  • Morning headaches

How is Sleep Apnea Treated?

In previous years, the CPAP machine was the gold standard for treating patients with sleep apnea. Now, however, there is a far more convenient and comfortable treatment method we are pleased to offer.

It is an oral appliance that is custom fitted to your mouth and worn every night. This device can reposition your lower jaw and tongue and move them forward so that you can breathe easier and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Contact Costa Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

If you are showing any signs of sleep apnea and ready to find relief, you should schedule an appointment at our office. Call us at 703-348-2818 for a sleep apnea consultation.