Have you heard about a medical condition known as sleep apnoea? According to the
Better Health Channel, around 5 per cent of the population has this kind of sleeping disorder. That’s around 1 million Australians who suffer from a blockage in their respiratory system, giving them plenty of sleepless nights, and drowsy workdays.
Most people who live with this condition are over the age of 30, but this isn’t always the case. If you’re not sure if you have sleep apnoea, here are 3 basic warning signs that you can learn to recognise.
1. Loud and Persistent Snoring
Snoring by itself isn’t a cause for concern, but most spouses, children and room-mates are quick to point out whether or not someone is snoring loudly when they’re asleep. However, if it’s persistent and continuous on a nightly basis, it could also be the sign of an obstructed airway through your nose and your throat. A qualified dentist or physician can examine you to find out if this is the case.
2. Interrupted Breathing While Sleeping
The most common sign of sleep apnoea is waking up to catch your breath. A person with a severe case of sleep apnoea will undergo only a few interruptions per night, while a severe case can result in 30 or more interruptions in a single night. What this means is the oxygen in your brain is dropping, so your body sends a wake-up call that forces you awake, even if only for a second or two.
3. Insomnia or Falling Asleep During the Day
Another sign of sleep apnoea is having trouble falling asleep in the first place, perhaps because of trouble breathing or experiencing other forms of discomfort, like a headache. Your insomnia can also carry over into trouble during your usual daytime activities. Do you find yourself dozing off in the middle of a meeting or at your desk, losing track of time after a “short nap”? If so, it may be serious enough to warrant a visit to the doctor’s office.
As a dental care centre in Sydney, we care deeply about the comfort of all of our patients, whether they’re in need of a teeth cleaning or dealing with something troubling like sleep apnoea. We care about your health and your well being as much as any health professional would and want to keep you informed about the most common symptoms of this growing problem for thousands of Australians.
After reading this article, do you feel like you or someone you know might be suffering from sleep apnoea? If so, why not give us a call or come in to discuss further with our friendly team.
 “Sleep apnoea.” Better Health Channel. Accessed 28 February 2015. http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Sleep_apnoea