Snoring can be a symptom of OSA and is a noise created by the partial blocking of the airway. When you fall asleep your muscles relax, including those that control the tongue and throat. The soft tissue at the back of your throat can sag, narrowing the airway. Incoming air then makes the tissue at the rear roof of the mouth (the soft palate), the flap of skin hanging from the palate (uvula) and the throat vibrate – a sound we know as snoring.
Snoring is often no greater problem than the noise itself. However, loud snoring may be a sign of a more serious problem
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops periodically during sleep, as many as 100 times per hour! If you suffer from sleep apnea, each time your breathing stops, the resulting lack of oxygen alerts your brain, which temporarily wakes you up to restart proper breathing. Because the time spent awake is so brief, most people with sleep apnea don't remember it - and many think they are getting a good night's sleep. However, the constant wake-sleep-wake-sleep cycle interrupts the deep sleep that refreshes the body, and sufferers are frequently drowsy during the day.
What are the signs of sleep apnea?
The following symptoms can indicate the presence of sleep apnea. If you notice one or more of these, give us a call, and we can discuss how we can treat your sleeping disorders.
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Loud snoring at night
- Waking up at night short of breath
- Snorting or choking sounds during the night (indicating a restart of breathing)
- Headaches upon waking in the morning
- Falling asleep unintentionally during the day
- Extreme drowsiness throughout the day
Dental Appliance Treatments
We offer various treatments for both snoring and sleep apnea. After a comprehensive evaluation we can determine what method of treatment would serve you best and be most comfortable the end result being a better and healthier night sleep. We work closely with sleep physicians and sleep clinics in the metropolitan area, together providing the best care and treatment for your sleep disorders.
What are risk factors for sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in males than females, and more common in older adults (40 and up) than younger adults and children. However, anyone – regardless of gender or age – can suffer from sleep apnea. Other risk factors include obesity, smoking, drinking, use of sedatives or tranquilizers, high blood pressure, and family history. Central sleep apnea strikes most often in people with heart disorders, neuromuscular disorders, strokes, or brain tumors.
Is sleep apnea dangerous?
Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical problem and if left untreated can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart failure and stroke. Being tired because of sleep apnea can lead to problems at work or school, as well as danger when driving. Sleep apnea can also cause complications with medications and mask other medical conditions. Call today and start feeling better tomorrow.