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Is It Normal to Develop Sleep Apnea as You Get Older?

January 15, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drlisk @ 10:55 am

older woman angry at man snoring

As you get older, along with sprouting grey hairs, your body goes through several changes. This is just a fact of life that everyone eventually experiences, but is it normal to develop sleep apnea as well? As you continue reading, a local dentist explains why getting older shouldn’t automatically result in poor rest and how sleep apnea therapy in North Raleigh can help you age gracefully!

What is Sleep Apnea?

If you’ve been told that you’re a loud snorer and make gasping sounds while you sleep, there’s a chance that you’re suffering from sleep apnea. The term refers to frequent lapses in breathing while you rest, with each occurrence triggering your brain to send a distress signal that awakens you. As a result, even after receiving a full night of sleep, you can be left feeling lethargic the next day.

Some other warning signs to be on the lookout for are memory loss, inability to focus, mood swings, lost libido, morning throat soreness and headaches.

Why Getting Older Shouldn’t Result in Sleep Apnea

Statistics show that sleep apnea is even becoming more prevalent among children, which shows that the condition isn’t specific to older people. Instead, lifestyle practices have a greater influence and can cause you to develop the condition over time.

Here are some of the possible contributors:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Obesity that leads to larger-than-normal neck width

By addressing any poor habits, the chances of avoiding or recovering from sleep apnea are much better.

How Sleep Apnea is Treated

If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea, then you should bring it to your primary care physician’s attention so you can be referred to a sleep clinic. After a proper diagnosis, you can then reach out to a local sleep dentist to receive the care you need.

The most common way of treating the condition is with a CPAP machine, which requires patients to wear a face mask that is connected to an air pump. Its primary purpose is to force air into the throat to prevent stoppages in breathing. Although it can be an effective means of treating sleep apnea, it can be challenging for some patients because of its rather cumbersome nature and the noise that it produces while operating.

Thankfully, there’s an alternative: a custom oral appliance called a “snore guard.” Also referred to as a Jaw Advancing Device (JAD) or Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD), the appliance slightly shifts your lower jaw forward to open your airway to prevent any snoring and apnea.

By receiving the expert care of a dentist in North Raleigh and incorporating healthy lifestyle practices, you can finally recover from sleep apnea, get the rest you need and age gracefully.

About the Author

Dr. Philip A. Lisk is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. Throughout a career that has spanned more than 20 years, he has provided his patients with the absolute best in care. Because Dr. Lisk knows how important it is to get quality rest, he effectively treats sleep apnea at his private practice, and he can be reached for more information through his website.

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