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Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea: A Treatable Sleep Disorder

At General and Implant Dentistry, we treat many Virginia Beach sleep apnea patients for this common sleep disorder. Sleep apnea is diagnosed when someone sleeping stops breathing momentarily, then gasps for air. Apneas are defined as pauses in breathing that last 10 seconds or longer; a shorter one is called a hypopnea. This is most often caused by your airway becoming blocked during sleep; this is known as obstructive sleep apnea.

If you have sleep apnea, you will most likely have many apneas each night. However, since sleep apneas happen while you're sleeping, it's can be hard to diagnose yourself. Maybe you don't feel rested when you wake up, get sleepy during the day, and have never known why.

During an apnea, the level of oxygen in the blood falls, so the brain can't get the air it needs. This compromises REM sleep, which ought to be deeply restful. Sleep apnea can leave people with daytime fatigue, but it also leaves people more prone to a range of other health problems. Research suggests an association between sleep apnea and heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, memory loss and brain damage.

When seeking treatments, Virginia Beach sleep apnea patients have a number of options. The most popular therapy is a CPAP machine; the breathing mask gives continuous positive air pressure all night long. However, some patients choose splint therapy, deciding they would prefer a nightguard to a sleep mask. Only in the most severe cases might a doctor consider sleep apnea surgery.

But Dr. Jenkins will also tell you that treatment can sometimes be refreshingly simple. People with mild sleep apnea may be able to triumph over the sleep disorder by making some straightforward lifestyle changes. These include avoiding alcohol and tobacco, doing breathing exercises, losing weight, and sleeping at an angle, on one's side, or with a sleep apnea pillow.

If you're in the Virginia Beach, VA area and would like a sleep apnea consultation, just give us a call at (855) 421-9711. We'll help you sleep easier!

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General and Implant Dentistry
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Dr. Arthur Rex Jenkins

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General and Implant Dentistry
836 First Colonial Rd
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
General Info: (757) 428-8747
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