What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a prevalent disorder characterized by pauses in breathing while asleep. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea, caused by blockage of the upper airway during sleep. Another less common type is central sleep apnea, which occurs when the brain fails to send signals for the body to breathe.
Signs of Sleep Apnea in Your Partner
Many individuals with sleep apnea are unaware of their condition, and it is often their partners who first notice the symptoms. If your partner experiences any of the following, they may have sleep apnea:
- Frequent stoppages of breathing during sleep
- Loud chronic snoring that disrupts your sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Waking up frequently at night to urinate
- Waking up with a dry mouth or headache
- Changes in mood, concentration, or attention span
- Decreased libido
- Thick and short, or long and thin neck size
The Dangers of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can be a serious condition due to the body’s sleep deprivation and lack of oxygen. Additionally, it increases the risk of developing various chronic health issues, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Atrial fibrillation
- Chronic kidney disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Pregnancy complications
Approaching the Topic with Your Partner
If you suspect your partner has sleep apnea, here are some tips to help you address the issue:
- Research: Observe your partner’s sleep behaviors and take notes to discuss specific occurrences.
- Express your concern: Be honest with your partner and explain why you’re concerned about their symptoms. Highlight the benefits of seeking help.
- Gather evidence: If your partner is willing, record their snoring or gasping during sleep.
- Check insurance coverage: Inquire with your insurance carrier about coverage for sleep apnea visits and treatments.
- Encourage treatment compliance: If diagnosed with sleep apnea, support your partner in using prescribed treatments, such as oral appliances.
Schedule a Consultation with Dental365
If you’ve noticed signs of sleep apnea in your partner, encourage them to schedule a consultation with Dental365. Our experienced dentists provide customized oral appliances for a comfortable fit and optimal outcome. Find a Dental365 location near you and schedule an appointment today!