Snoring Is Nothing to Snicker About!
Do you snore? Does your bed partner snore? Or, does another family member snore (son, daughter, a child, parent, etc.)? Snoring can be one of the more noticeable and audible signals of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. During sleep, snoring occurs when your throat muscles relax causing a narrowing (or obstruction of) your airway. Breathing in and out causes vibration noise, or snoring. This airway blockage can decrease air flow and decrease oxygen levels throughout the body including the brain. Decreased oxygen levels to the brain can lead to high blood pressure and carotid artery damage from buildup of plaque cholesterol and calcium.
Snoring has even been linked to an increase in Type II Diabetes.
Snoring is an unhealthy, non-laughing matter. A consult with your SmilesRForever dentist or your sleep physician is the next step to determine what your best course of therapy should be.
The Top Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Include:
- Snoring – Loud episodic snoring often occurs with sleep apnea.
- Interrupted Breathing – Bed partners frequently will notice and become alarmed when you stop breathing.
- Choking or Gasping While Sleeping – During deeper phases of sleep, your muscles become more relaxed including your tongue and your airway can become blocked, your brain activity causes you to awaken out of the deeper sleep to help you catch your breath. This can happen frequently and prevents deep refreshing, rejuvenating sleep.
- Excessive Tiredness – This can lead to social and employment issues.
- Lack of Feeling Refreshed Upon Waking in the Morning – Without deep sleep, you often feel like you didn’t get enough rest
- Dry Mouth, Sore Throat, Sour Mouth or Heartburn – Sleep apnea patients usually are mouth breathers and many have stomach acid regurgitation (GERD) due to the increased effort placed on the diaphragm to breathe.
- Mood Swings/Depression – When you are tired, you are not at your best and even normal daily functions can be overwhelming and stressful.
- Sexual Dysfunction – Apneic sufferers lack sexual desire due to fatigue; men can even experience ED (erectile dysfunction) due to apnea.
- Headaches – Headaches are frequently associated with OSA due to the lack of proper oxygen levels in the blood, stress to the brain, heart, and other organs due to low oxygen.
- Night Sweats – This can occur due to the increased strain to the muscles of the respiratory system to try to breathe when the throat is blocked.
- Nocturnal Chest Pain – This is due to stress on your heart as it may be dealing with spiking blood pressures due to apnea; cardiac deaths occur in the early morning hours with people who have sleep apnea.
- Bruxism – Grinding of your teeth at night research shows is primarily due to apnea.
- Frequent Urination at Night – Frequent awakenings and desires to urinate can be due to diaphragm and abdomen muscles work harder for breathing and put pressure on your bladder.
- Inability to Focus/Mental Confusion – Lack of proper sleep interferes with neurocognitive function due to poor oxygen levels and fragmentation of our sleep cycle.
Sleep Apnea Information & Services
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a medical condition in which a person stops breathing repeatedly during sleep. Breathing stops because the person’s airway collapses and prevents air from getting into the lungs. Sleep patterns are disrupted, fragmented, and results in excessive sleepiness or fatigue during the day.
OSA commonly occurs later in life – after 35 years of age, more often in men and overweight individuals. However, anyone can have OSA, including women, children, and even toddlers!
What Causes the Airway to Collapse During Sleep?
Extra tissue in the back of the airway or throat, such as large tonsils or adenoids, a decrease in the tone of the muscles holding the airway open, and the tongue falling back and closing off the airway can all contribute to the airway collapsing. Ninety percent of people with OSA have not been medically diagnosed. Usually, it is the bed partner who notices the signs of sleep apnea.
Contact our office today, schedule an appointment for a courtesy consultation, and look forward to your best sleep ever!