Sleep Apnoea and Snoring in Pascoe Vale

If you have suffered from a night of poor sleep, you know how important sleep is to feeling your best. Missing valuable restorative sleep makes it difficult to stay on task, feel motivated, and perform your best mentally and physically. Relationships can also suffer—especially if you are also keeping your sleep partner awake.

man snoring | glenroy vic dentist

Many Australian adults suffer from chronic snoring—40 per cent of men and 30 percent of women, according to the Sleep Health Foundation. According to SNORE Australia, it is believed that 25 per cent of men and nine per cent of women in Australia have significant obstructive sleep apnoea.

Sleep apnoea is an all-to-common condition we see at our Pascoe Vale, VIC dental clinic that can have serious ramifications on an individual’s overall health. It’s best to get treatment sooner rather than later so that you—and your sleep partner—can go back to getting a good night of rest.

If you are a chronic snorer and wonder if you have sleep apnoea, we invite you to call our Pascoe Vale, VIC dental clinic. Dr Amir Kiaee can talk to you about getting a sleep study as well as possible solutions if it is determined you have sleep apnoea.

What is obstructive sleep apnoea?

Proper diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea requires a sleep study at an accredited clinic. We work with sleep specialists in the medical field to fully look after the needs of our Pascoe Vale, VIC patients who might have sleep apnoea.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder characterised by interrupted breathing and reduced oxygen flow during sleep. The tissues at the back of the throat relax during sleep and block the airway, causing loud snoring in addition to choking, coughing and periods of not breathing.

As this occurs, the brain compensates for the lack of oxygen by increasing the speed and frequency of breaths. Unfortunately, this is usually ineffective, and the blood oxygen levels continue to drop.

Long-term sleep apnoea leads to a number of serious health complications, in addition to the dangers of operating a vehicle while fatigued:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Mood disorders
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Stroke
  • Early death
  • Fatigue

At Lumino Smiles in Pascoe Vale, VIC, we offer solutions to both our adult and child patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea.

What causes snoring?

The reason people snore is that there is an obstruction in the airflow through the nose and the mouth. This creates vibrations, which is the loud snoring sound that prevents you from getting a restful night's sleep.

There can be several different reasons people have an obstruction in the airflow:

  • There are blockages in the nasal airways that impede normal airflow
  • Heavier people are more likely to have an obstruction, particularly if they carry extra weight in the neck area
  • Soft tissues are blocking the airway at the back of the throat

Alcohol consumption and some medications can exacerbate these problems, as can health conditions such as obesity, hypothyroidism or a deviated septum.

Some people snore only occasionally, and although this can be annoying to their sleep partner, it probably doesn’t point to a diagnosis of sleep apnoea. If there is any uncertainty, we recommend that our Pascoe Vale, VIC patients see a sleep specialist to rule out sleep apnoea.

If I snore, does this mean I have obstructive sleep apnoea?

Many people who snore do not have obstructive sleep apnoea. Usually, those who have sleep apnoea have extremely loud snoring that occurs almost every night. Other tell-tale signs that point to sleep apnoea include pauses in breathing and waking up gasping for breath many times during the night. Often it is a sleep partner who notices these signs of possible sleep apnoea.

Can children develop obstructive sleep apnoea?

We have seen at our Pascoe Vale, VIC dental clinic that obstructive sleep apnoea also affects children. Since their brains are still developing, this can be a particularly dangerous condition that affects their development and social engagement. It can even result in a misdiagnosis of ADHD or other developmental disorders. A sleep disorder makes it difficult for Pascoe Vale, VIC children to develop normally both socially and cognitively.

Child sleeping with sleep apnoea | glenroy vic

While occasional snoring is common, especially when your child suffers from allergies or a cold, regular snoring can indicate the existence of a more serious sleep disorder.

Fortunately, proper treatment for children restores normal brain function and gives kids an opportunity to lead healthy lives.

How does sleep apnoea impact one’s overall health?

Not only does sleep apnoea impact your sleep partner’s overall health if they are unable to sleep because of your snoring, but your own body is not getting the rest it needs at night. Sleep apnoea sufferers are not sleeping properly, and they may find it difficult to function during the day because they are so exhausted. Mood can be affected, and some people even start to feel depressed or anxious. Work can suffer as well as personal relationships.

Sleep apnoea in Pascoe Vale, VIC can also contribute to other health concerns, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain

If you suspect you have sleep apnoea, it’s crucial to get help—the earlier the better.

What are some of the treatments available for sleep apnoea?

A sleep study must be performed and evaluated by a qualified sleep medicine practitioner. They will recommend the type of treatment suited to the severity of sleep apnoea and your current lifestyle. Often, the first line of treatment includes CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) delivered through a small face or nose mask.

While this is an effective treatment for many OSA sufferers, some patients find it difficult to grow accustomed to wearing the mask during sleep and either consciously or unconsciously remove it, leaving them unprotected. This defeats the purpose of CPAP, and we make other recommendations to our Pascoe Vale, VIC patients who are suffering from sleep apnoea.

How can I find out more about oral appliance therapy?

An alternative for Pascoe Vale, VIC patients with mild to moderate sleep apnoea is oral appliance therapy. Custom oral appliances designed for sleep apnoea gently reposition the mandibular (lower) jaw slightly forward, creating more space for air to flow freely at the back of the throat.

Many patients find this method preferable to CPAP therapy because it is convenient, comfortable and more discreet. This is especially important for patients who travel or who have partners that find the rhythmic sounds of the CPAP machine difficult to tolerate.

Are you ready to get a better night’s sleep?

If you received a sleep apnoea diagnosis in Pascoe Vale, VIC, and you want to learn about oral appliance therapy as a treatment option, we welcome you to arrange a consultation with Dr Amir at our Pascoe Vale dental clinic.

We look forward to helping you achieve a restful night’s sleep.