Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Sleep Apnea & Snoring
If you snore, you and your partner may have suffered sleepless nights and even frustration caused by disrupted sleep. Failing to experience proper sleep can make day-to-day tasks more difficult, reduce the ability to concentrate, and can threaten intimacy when partners opt to sleep in separate rooms.
Loud snoring can also be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition called obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious health condition that can be caused by a number of factors including weight gain, large tonsils, a deviated septum, and even genetics. Males are more prone to sleep apnea than females, and people over age 40 are also at higher risk.
When you fall asleep, the soft tissues in your throat can relax, causing them to vibrate with every breath and cause snoring. They can also relax to the point that they actually obstruct your airway, cause chocking, and stop breathing altogether. This causes you to awaken multiple times during the night and prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep.
If your partner reports that your snoring is loud, uneven, or that you start and stop snoring abruptly, you should schedule an appointment to find out if you have sleep apnea.
Other common signs that can point to obstructive sleep apnea include:
- A sore throat when you wake up
- Daytime drowsiness
- Headaches throughout the day
- Mood swings
- Waking up multiple times throughout the night
A sleep study may be necessary to determine the severity of your condition. Untreated sleep apnea is linked to numerous other significant health problems including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
Additionally, the poor sleep caused by sleep apnea can lead to drowsiness during the day which can be dangerous while driving and can cause problems at work and at home.
Treating Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Unfortunately, many of the treatments recommended for sleep apnea are uncomfortable or invasive. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are noisy and can be difficult to get used to, and surgery does not have a very high success rate.
Treatment of OSA Using Oral Appliance Therapy
Unlike a CPAP machine, your oral appliance is comfortable to wear and custom-fitted to your mouth for a proper fit. It also won’t disturb the sleep of your partner like a CPAP can!