Do you feel like you are always tired? Have you ever fallen asleep at inappropriate times during the day, such as when you are at work? Do you have trouble concentrating or remembering? Are you frustrated because you cannot explain the reason for your exhaustion.
If this sounds like you, it may interest you to know that sleep apnea is often the silent culprit behind the chronic fatigue that plagues millions of Americans.
How does sleep apnea cause chronic fatigue?
Keep in mind that sleep apnea is a condition that causes repetitive instances where the sufferer temporarily stops breathing and then awakens momentarily when the brain signals the “fight or flight” signal to start breathing again. Even if you are not aware of these occurrences, you are not experiencing a restorative night of sleep. Eventually, this daily loss of restorative, healthy sleep can result in the deep, lingering type of exhaustion known as chronic fatigue.
How is chronic fatigue different from being tired?
Everyone experiences being tired now and then, but suffering from chronic fatigue is an exhaustion that lingers on for an extended period of time. This type of ongoing and extreme tiredness will begin to interfere with your normal daily life. Here are just a few indicators you may be suffering from chronic fatigue.
- Deep, lingering fatigue
- Inability to focus
- Loss of memory
- Muscle pain
- Mood changes and irritability
- Sexual dysfunction
- Frequently falling asleep during the day
Are there any treatments available?
If you have sleep apnea and are also suffering from chronic fatigue, your dentist can provide sleep disorder treatments that may help. The first step is to discover whether your sleep apnea has a dental cause. A thorough examination of your jaw and dental structure will help your dentist determine the best approach for your situation.
Treatments may include:
- Oral appliances to reposition your jaw and keep your airway open
- The use of dental bonding, porcelain veneers, crowns, bridges or dental implants to correct a bad bite
Contact a Milwaukee dentist, like Dr. Mike Westman of TMJ and Sleep Disorder Solutions to arrange for your free 15-minute consultation.