Sleep apnoea occurs when the walls of the throat come together during sleep, blocking off the upper airway & stopping breathing for a period of time. It generally lasts for a few seconds or up to one minute, until the brain registers the lack of breathing or drop in oxygen levels and sends a small wake-up call. The sleeper rouses slightly, opens the upper airway, typically snorts and gasps, then drifts back to sleep almost immediately.

Symptoms
Some of the associated symptoms of sleep apnoea include:

  • Daytime sleepiness, fatigue and tiredness
  • Poor concentration
  • Irritability and noticeable mood changes
  • Impotence and reduced sex drive
  • Frequently going to the bathroom at nighttime.

Causes of sleep apnoea
Obesity is one of the most common causes of sleep apnoea, with other contributors being:

  • Alcohol (especially in the evening as it relaxes the throat muscles & hampers the brains reaction to breathing)
  • Sleeping tablets and sedatives (or similar medications)
  • Nasal congestion and obstruction
  • Facial bone shape and muscle size (such as an undershot jaw)
  • Certain illnesses such as reduced thyroid production or an enlarged goitre.
  • Large tonsils (especially in children)

MC Dental can assist with the treatment of sleep apnoea. Call us today on (03) 8608 8968 to book an appointment.
 

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