Sleep Apnoea

The Dangers of Uncontrolled Sleep Apnoea

sleep apnoea albury

What is Sleep Apnoea?

Sleep apnoea occurs when breathing stops for a period of time (each pause in breathing is called an apnoea) until the brain registers the lack of breathing or a drop in oxygen levels and sends a small wake-up call.

The sleeper rouses slightly, opens the upper airway, typically snorts and gasps, and then drifts back to sleep almost immediately.

It’s estimated that about five per cent of Australians suffer from this sleep disorder, with around one in four men over the age of 30 been affected.

Degrees of Severity

  • Normal – less than five interruptions an hour
  • Mild sleep apnoea – between 5 and 15 interruptions an hour
  • Moderate sleep apnoea – between 15 and 30 interruptions an hour
  • Severe sleep apnoea – over 30 interruptions an hour.

Contributing Factors

People with significant sleep apnoea have an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents and high blood pressure and may have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

contributing factors
  • Alcohol, especially in the evening – relaxes the throat muscles and hampers the brain’s reaction to sleep-disordered breathing.
  • Certain illnesses, like reduced thyroid hormone production or the presence of a very large goitre.
  • Large tonsils, especially in children.
  • Medications, such as sleeping tablets and sedatives.
  • Nasal congestion and obstruction.
  • Facial bone shape and the size of muscles, such as an undershot jaw.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea

Some of the symptoms associated with sleep apnoea include:

  • Snoring
  • Waking up un-fresh
  • Some degree of sleepiness
  • Disturbed breathing during sleep
  • Poor Concentration
  • Sexual Dysfunction

Sleep Apnoea Treatment

Treatment for sleep apnoea relies on changes to lifestyle. This includes losing weight and cutting down on alcohol.

Any contributing medical condition, such as low production of thyroid hormone, also needs to be corrected. Any surgical conditions such as large tonsils should be corrected.

  • Airway pressure therapy via a mask worn at night that keeps the back of the throat open by forcing air through the nose.
  • Taking a sleep test (normally referred by your General Practitioner)
  • Dental appliances

When visiting your Albury dentist, we are able to assist in finding the cause and assist in treating sleep apnoea. Book a consultation with our team today to find out if you are eligible for a dental appliance to treat sleep apnoea.

A full medical history will be taken before any clinical procedures take place. Due to regulatory requirements, we must inform you that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Sleep Apnoea in Albury

Talk to us today to see how we can help.

Give us a call on (02) 6021 4171 for more information. Request your appointment online.

We are located at 525 Wilson St in Albury.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is sleep apnoea?
There are two basic forms of sleep apnoea. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is caused by an obstruction of the air passageway in the throat, while Central Sleep Apnoea is a neuromuscular condition caused by a delay in the brain’s signal to breathe. The most common symptom for both types of sleep apnoea is excessive, loud snoring.
How is sleep apnoea diagnosed?
The best way to determine whether you have sleep apnoea is to undergo an overnight sleep study called a polysomnogram. The sleep study results will show whether you have sleep apnoea to determine the best treatment option for you.
s sleep apnoea and snoring the same thing?
No. Although sleep apnoea sufferers usually snore, sleep apnoea and snoring aren’t the same things. Sleep apnoea occurs when the airway collapses and/or is fully blocked by soft tissue, whereas snoring is caused by soft tissue vibrations caused by a partial blockage.