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What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?


Women smiling in the parkHere at Shenandoah Family Dentistry, we understand that obstructive sleep apnea, also referred to as OSA, is a serious sleep disorder. This is because it causes you to repeatedly start and stop breathing while you’re asleep. As you can imagine, this isn’t only scary, but it’s also serious enough that you need to learn more about it and get help in treating it as soon as possible.

Health Problems Associated With OSA


This is the most common of the various types of sleep apnea. It occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax, blocking your airway while you’re asleep. One of the most noticeable signs that you have this issue is that you’ll snore a lot.

OSA is even more problematic if you’re carrying excess weight. This is because of fat deposits around your upper airway. Of course, it’s important to understand that thin people also suffer from OSA. This is because the inherent problem lies in having a narrowed airway.

If you have OSA you also need to make sure you don’t have high blood pressure (a.k.a. hypertension), suffer from chronic nasal congestion, or have diabetes or asthma. Most people will have a family history of sleep apnea. It’s also important to understand that men are twice as likely as women to have OSA. Smokers are also more likely to have this health issue.

Regardless of who you are or why you’re suffering from OSA you’ll feel excessively sleepy during the day; abruptly wake during the night because you’re gasping or choking for air; wake up with a dry mouth or sore throat; have a headache in the morning; find it difficult to concentrate during the day; experience severe mood swings; sweat a lot at night; and have a decreased libido. When you’re suffering from a more severe form of OSA you may also experience cardiovascular problems; coronary artery disease; have a heart attack, heart failure or stroke; experienced increased abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias); have glaucoma; memory problems; depression; or the need to urinate frequently at night. You’re not alone in suffering—your partner is also sleep-deprived because of your OSA.

Treating OSA


When you think you’re experiencing OSA, it’s important for you to seek treatment. There are various ways in which we can help treat your OSA. The most common form of treatment involves you using an oral appliance while you’re sleeping. The device keeps your airway open. There’s also another type of device available that will thrust your jaw forward while you’re sleeping. While both of these options work great, if you have a severe case of OSA you may need a more aggressive form of treatment like surgery.
At Shenandoah Family Dentistry we want you to get the help you need for this disorder so give us a call at (540) 773-0011 today. We’ll set up an appointment with you at your earliest convenience. During your appointment, we’ll have an opportunity to discuss your treatment options. Don’t hesitate to call us as your life does depend on you getting the help you need as soon as possible. We’re here for you!


Shenandoah Family Dentistry | www.winchestersmiles.com | (540) 773-0011
1705 Amherst St #102, Winchester, VA 22601
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