Recognising the early and most obvious signs of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) could save your life or that of a loved one. Unfortunately, many people don’t realise that their warning signs indicate an underlying medical condition.
These six common warning signs shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re experiencing one or more symptoms, be sure to let us know.
Although there are dozens of red flags someone could have sleep apnoea, here are some of the six most common warning signs we see in our clinic:
Individuals with excess tissues around their throat and upper airway are more likely to experience obstructive sleep apnoea than those with a healthy BMI. This is due to the physical restriction of the airway, which physically limits airflow whenever they’re laying down at night to go to sleep.
Bodies that are deprived of oxygen and quality sleep tend to experience changes in metabolism and brain function. Without a full ‘recharge’, your body can’t perform at its best.
Do you wake up each morning already feeling tired before the day starts? If you aren’t getting the appropriate amount of sleep, your body will never feel rested. Which is one reason why people with sleep apnoea tend to experience depression or have trouble concentrating.
When our bodies are oxygen-deprived, there is a natural instinct for the teeth and jaws to clench tightly together. This ‘bruxing’ effect will cause extensive tooth-on-tooth wear, leading to flattened chewing surfaces and broken dental work.
Teeth clenching and grinding can easily lead to issues with the jaw joint (TMJ) and surrounding muscle tissues. The constant tension may cause chronic headaches or migraines in people with undiagnosed sleep apnoea.
Chronic, untreated sleep apnoea significantly impacts your cardiovascular health. Many people who have high blood pressure don’t realise that their sleeping disorder is contributing to their condition. Which is one reason why fatal heart attacks and strokes are frequently linked to this condition.
Obstructive sleep apnoea physically blocks your airway at the back of your throat. Your soft tissues may collapse against one another, reducing airflow or sealing off your airway altogether.
People with sleep apnoea experience oxygen deprivation when they sleep, which contributes to the above-mentioned warning signs. Sleep apnoea strains your vital organs—including your heart and brain—causing potentially life-threatening scenarios even if you seem healthy otherwise.
An undiagnosed, untreated case of obstructive sleep apnoea can drastically increase your chances of suffering from a life-threatening heart attack or stroke.
Not to mention put you at a greater risk of health complications because of high blood pressure or chronic fatigue.
Drs Manish and Kinnar Shah routinely screen for sleep apnoea and sleeping disorders during your dental exam. If you suspect that you have a sleeping-related condition or suffer from sleep apnoea symptoms, contact Smile Concepts in Sydney or Five Dock today.
Smile Concepts is a high-end dental clinic in the heart of Sydney. To deliver the best service, we always prioritise your wellbeing so we can use our expertise to help you live a better life.
7 STAR EXPERIENCE
Dr. Manish Shah is a cosmetic dentist with a special interest in porcelain veneers, dental implants and Invisalign in Sydney. He is also a medical doctor with an expertise in sleep & craniofacial pain medicine practising at Smile Concepts.