Being an expectant mother can be stressful because you’re constantly worried about taking the best possible care of yourself and the little one you’re about to welcome into the world. You may be frustrated because it’s getting increasingly harder to sleep through the night with your growing belly and baby. Over three-quarters of expectant mothers experience disrupted sleep while they’re pregnant, so you’re not alone. Because obstructive sleep apnea in Lutz can deprive your body of oxygen, it can cause harm to your baby and yourself—making it even more important to diagnose and treat. Read on to learn more about obstructive sleep apnea and pregnancy.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea affects over 18 million adults in America and is the most common sleeping disorder. It’s a chronic condition where your airway becomes blocked during sleep and halts your airflow—resulting in brief moments of shallow breathing or breathlessness. These short episodes can occur multiple times throughout the night and last anywhere between a few seconds to a minute or more.
What Are The Risks During Pregnancy?
Over time, your sleeping disorder will lower the levels of oxygen in your blood and increase your risk of developing health conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, obesity, diabetes, depression, and even heart failure. It’s not uncommon for pregnant people with sleep apnea to also develop gestational diabetes and preeclampsia as well, which can put your fetus at risk. Knowing what symptoms and signs to look out for can help you diagnose and treat your disorder and reduce your risk of developing health complications.
What Symptoms Should You Keep An Eye Out For?
Some of the symptoms that point towards sleep apnea may only be spotted by your partner, because you most likely won’t wake up when you experience them. Common signs to keep an eye out for include:
- Loud snoring prefaced by sudden gasps for air
- Chronic Fatigue
- Morning headaches
- Easily irritable and impatient
If you or your partner have noticed any of these symptoms, it’s best to contact a medical professional immediately to seek a diagnosis. Once you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, you can begin looking into sleep apnea treatment in Lutz.
What Are Some Possible Treatment Options?
If your sleep apnea is mild, you can make some simple lifestyle changes to help combat your symptoms. Your doctor may suggest avoiding sleeping on your back, making healthy and nutritional choices to combat obesity, or adding a humidifier to the room.
If your disorder doesn’t seem to improve, you can look into getting a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to help keep your airways open. Another option that is less noisy and doesn’t require sleeping with a mask on your face is to get a custom-made oral appliance from your dentist.
Knowing what signs to look out for is the first step in diagnosing and treating your sleeping disorder. As an expectant parent, there’s nothing more important to you than keeping yourself and your baby safe and healthy. By treating your obstructive sleep apnea, you can reduce your risk of complications and get the quality of rest you deserve.
About the Author
Dr. Jay Nelson has been giving patients healthy smiles since 1981. After seeing just how many people were impacted by restless nights, he completed advanced training in dental sleep medicine. He is now a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, and the American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine. He has also earned certification to use Somnodent and other oral appliances to help treat patients’ sleeping disorders. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Nelson Dentistry and Dental Sleep Medicine’s website or contact 813-949-0424.