Snoring and Sleep Apnea
As many as half of adults snore nightly, and about half of those who snore nightly actually have obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when a person’s airways are obstructed during sleep, causing them to make the harsh sounds that many of us know all too well.
Important Facts About Snoring:
- Those who are at the most risk for snoring are males and people who are overweight.
- While many men snore, snoring is still a problem affecting both genders
- As people age, the effects of snoring increase drastically, creating breathing problems for them during the night
- Snoring may or may not be associated with sleep apnea, but that it’s necessary for health reasons to determine first if a person has sleep apnea
- If you experience “benign snoring,” which is snoring without sleep apnea, then the treatment plan may be different. In any event, we can still provide relief.
About Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Have you ever been told that you sometimes stop breathing while asleep, or that your snoring is interrupted by pauses, gasps and snorting noises? These are all signs that you may be suffering from sleep apnea. This condition can be extremely disruptive and frustrating to a bed partner, and can also be quite harmful to your health.
- An apnea is the suspension of breathing
- Each stoppage in breath results in drops in blood oxygen levels
- Patients may have dozens to hundreds of apneas each night
- The sleeper is momentarily startled awake, but may not remember
- The body’s nervous system triggers a stress response to resume breathing after each apnea event
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The ongoing release of stress hormones and repeated instantaneous awakenings throughout the night rob sleep apnea suffers of the benefits of restorative rest. Though they are sleep deprived, many sufferers have no idea how severe their condition is, and believe they are sleeping soundly through the night.
- An ongoing sense of listlessness, irritability or depression
- Awakening in the morning with a sort throat or a headache
- Decreased visual acuity
- Experiencing sudden unexplained awakenings during the night
- Nodding off when sitting or driving
- Poor memory or an inability to maintain mental focus
- Poor performance at work or school
Health Risks of OSA:
- Cardiovascular disease, including stroke
- Gastric reflux disease
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk for a range of cancers
- Increased weight gain
- Thyroid problems
- Type two diabetes