It’s estimated that nearly 22 million Americans have sleep apnea—a condition in which restricted airways cause excessive snoring, disruptions, and breathing problems during sleep. But while this condition is fairly common, many fail to recognize the signs because they are not awake when they occur. That is why many with sleep apnea have to be told about it from partners who share their bed. Unfortunately, if your loved one has this condition, bringing the subject up can be difficult. If you want to start a productive conversation about the topic, here are a few tips that can help you address your partner’s sleep apnea—and seek help from a dentist.
How Should You Discuss Sleep Apnea With a Loved One?
Keeping in mind that the problem is a health condition—and not a personal choice—you should approach the subject calmly and with concern. Even if you find the snoring to be annoying, remember to focus on how the problem impacts their well-being. Otherwise, you may make them feel guilty or ashamed about the problem and cause them to become defensive about it.
Discuss the Risks
One way to demonstrate your concern about sleep apnea is to discuss all the ways that it may impact your partner’s health. For example, if they have been complaining about chronic fatigue, headaches, depression, or poor concentration, it could be due to sleep deprivation caused by the condition. You might also bring up long-term health issues associated with the condition, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, and heart problems.
Gently Present Evidence
If your partner is in denial about their sleep apnea, take a quick audio or video clip of them snoring. When the time is right and tensions are low, let your partner know that you want to show them evidence—with no judgment. Once they see or hear the issue, they will likely be unable to deny it any longer.
Explore Treatment Options Together
In the event your partner is disinterested in wearing a CPAP machine every night for treatment, remind them that while this solution is helpful for many, it is not the only option. For example, diet and exercise can help individuals lose weight and breathe easier in bed. Others may turn to a trusted dentist for a custom oral appliance that keeps the airway open during sleep. Whether your loved one opts to see a sleep doctor or a dentist about their treatment options, it’s important to stay supportive of whatever avenue they take.
If you’re curious about a simpler way to address sleep apnea, turn to Drs Emery & Scuro DMD, PC in Rochester, NY. Providing comprehensive oral health services, these family dentists can introduce you to custom appliances that will comfortably hold your jaw—and airway—open during sleep, to control sleep apnea. To learn more about these capabilities, visit these friendly providers online. You can also call (585) 247-7110 to schedule a convenient consultation with an experienced dentist.