Although a common medical condition, most people know very little about the causes, symptoms and complications which can arise as a result of sleep disturbances. Snoring and sleep apnea are potentially serious problems that can lead to compromised health. If you have been diagnosed with snoring and sleep apnea, or believe that you may have symptoms of sleep apnea, it is important to understand what it is, as well as what your options are for managing the condition.
What is Snoring?
Everybody has heard somebody snoring! It is more than an annoyance, however. Snoring is a symptom of a breathing problem. It is caused when the jaw opens, muscles are relaxed and the tongue falls to the back of the throat. This causes the airway to narrow or close off partially, forcing air through a much smaller opening. The sound vibrations which occur with restricted air passage are known as snoring. Problems associated with snoring are disrupted sleep, relationship problems and embarrassment. In some cases, snoring is a symptom of its more sinister brother, obstructive sleep apnea.
In patients with sleep apnea, the relaxation of the airway can cause obstruction, and the patient can stop breathing for short periods. When the airway obstruction has continued long enough to cause the brain to react, the sleeper will partially awaken enough to clear the obstruction and fall back to sleep. This continuous cycle of falling asleep, airway collapsing and unconsciously awakening gasping for air prevents effective sleep.
Effects of Sleep Apnea on Your Body
If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, you don’t need us to tell you that you can suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness! OSA sufferers awaken feeling unrested and tired. Morning and nighttime headaches are common as well as waking with chest pain or anxiety during sleep. The partners of OSA and snoring sufferers often report being annoyed by very loud snoring, restless sleeping, choking, gasping and episodes of not breathing at all.
Serious Medical Conditions Can Arise as a Result of Sleep Apnea Including:
High blood pressure
Treatment for Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Many people who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea have received a medical device called a Continuous Positive Air Pressure machine, or CPAP. Approximately 750,000 CPAP’s are prescribed annually, although the machine is often uncomfortable, difficult to comply with, requires frequent cleaning and many patients stop using the CPAP machine altogether.
Most Snoring and Sleep Apnea Patients Don’t Know About Other Options
In patient’s diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral sleep apnea appliances, like those offered at A+Dental.
Dr. Babaloui treats patients with snoring and mild sleep apnea with custom appliances designed to fit perfectly in your mouth during sleep. The appliances work to maintain your airway during sleep, to reduce or eliminate apneic episodes. Many patients find the oral appliance more comfortable and convenient to use than a C-PAP machine.
For more information about treatment for snoring and sleep apnea, contact A+ Dental.