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Sleep Apnoea

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When Snoring is Sleep Apnoea

Everybody will snore occasionally, but sleep apnoea is more serious. Without diagnosis and treatment, it could even harm your health.

What is Sleep Apnoea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnoea. Snoring is often quite regular, but with OSA, sufferers will frequently cease breathing for several seconds or longer before breathing restarts. These pauses in breath can happen many times during the night, and although sufferers will not completely awaken, it does interrupt deep, restful sleep. OSA is caused when the muscles supporting your throat relax during sleep, letting the throat collapse inwards which can partially or entirely obstruct the airway.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea?

The most frequent symptom is waking up feeling tired, and daytime sleepiness can make it difficult to function properly at school or work. People with OSA can have a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks or strokes, and they are more likely to feel depressed.

What Are the Risk Factors for Developing OSA?

OSA tends to affect middle-aged men or women who are going through the menopause. It can also affect people who are overweight, who use alcohol or who smoke.

Diagnosing and Treating OSA

If you think you may have OSA, we strongly encourage you to come and see us here at Helena Street Dental. We can examine your oral health and will discuss appropriate treatments.

Mild to moderate OSA is frequently treated with a specialised night guard called a mandibular advancement splint, and which is a comfortable, custom-made device that you wear during sleep. It works by holding your jaw in a slightly forward position, so your throat muscles are tightened, preventing them from collapsing inwards and obstructing your airway during sleep. People who are diagnosed with more severe OSA and who cannot easily tolerate a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine frequently find a mandibular advancement splint far easier to wear.

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