Could Your Sleep Apnea Lead to Depression?
March 24, 2021
Depression is a leading cause of disability around the world, and up to 30% of patients find that the therapies available don’t help them overcome their symptoms. Why are some people resistant to depression treatment? For some, it could be due to the fact that they’re primarily suffering from a sleep disorder rather than a mood disorder. Learning more about the link between depression and sleep apnea in Weatherford could be vital for making sure that you get treatments that actually work.
How are Sleep Apnea and Depression Related?
According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, over 70% of sleep apnea patients also have symptoms of depression. The same study found that the depressive symptoms in such patients were relieved after sleep apnea was treated via CPAP therapy. According to the researchers, these findings could mean that there’s a possibility of a sleep disorder being misdiagnosed as depression. Naturally, in such cases the regular treatments for depression wouldn’t work because the root cause would not be truly addressed.
In general, symptoms of depression are more likely to occur the more severe sleep apnea is. This could be due to the fact that the brain isn’t getting enough oxygen as well as the fact that your rest is being interrupted before you can reach the sleep stages responsible for maintaining your mental faculties. However, more research is needed to fully understand the link.
Is Your Depression Related to Sleep Apnea?
Many of the symptoms of depression are also warning signs of sleep apnea. These can include:
- Having trouble concentrating or remembering things.
- A general feeling of fatigue throughout the day.
- Crankiness, hopelessness, and other persistent negative feelings.
- Experiencing insomnia.
- Waking up with headaches.
If you notice the above warning signs and have also been told that you snore or gasp for air in your sleep, then there’s a good chance that you’re suffering from a sleep disorder.
How Can Sleep Apnea Be Treated?
A sleep dentist in Weatherford can help you explore different treatment options for sleep apnea. Sometimes the solution is as simple as wearing an oral appliance, which moves the lower jaw slightly forward in order to keep the airway clear throughout the night. For more severe cases, oral appliance therapy can be used in conjunction with a CPAP machine. This reduces the discomfort of CPAP while also ensuring that you enjoy the best that both treatments have to offer.
About the Author
Dr. Deborah A. Romack graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry in 1998 and has been practicing in Weatherford ever since. She has been attending continuing education courses about obstructive sleep apnea since 2005, and as such she has become skilled in identifying the warning signs and symptoms of sleep disorders. If you’ve been feeling depressed or exhausted lately and think it might have something to do with sleep apnea, you can schedule an appointment at Weatherford Dental Sleep Medicine by visiting her website or calling (817) 594-3806.
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