Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment
Do you wake feeling unrested? Do others complain about your loud snoring?
Does your spouse say that the noises you make during the night sound as if you are choking or gasping for air?
Snoring refers to the vibration sound in your throat, mouth or nose that may occur during sleep. The sound is a result of vibration caused by a narrowing airway that still requires air to pass through it. It is estimated that upwards of 45% of adults snore occasionally. Occasional snoring seems to create little more than an annoyance to the person sleeping beside you. Upwards of 20% of people, however, experience habitual or chronic snoring. Chronic snoring can be a symptom of a more serious condition that not only affects your bedmate, but also affects your quality of life and potentially your health.
Chronic snoring can be a symptom of many disorders, one being Sleep Apnea. Apnea is defined as “the temporary reduction or cessation of breath”. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when these interruptions in breathing occur for periods of 10 seconds or longer while you sleep (with the severity of your condition determined by how many times it occurs in an hour of sleep).
This reduction in breathing caused by Obstructive Sleep Apnea can, along with other occurrences which can have a direct effect on your health:
- Lower the oxygen levels in the blood
- Cause your heart to work harder
- Interrupt your sleep
Early symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea include:
- Daytime fatigue
- Trouble concentrating
- Poor memory
Left untreated, Sleep Apnea can lead to:
- High blood pressure
- Heart complications
- ...and many more health related risks.
To properly diagnose a sleep or breathing disorder during sleep, a sleep study must be conducted. This involves a night spent under observation at a sleep clinic. During a sleep study, your sleep patterns, movements, and oxygen levels in your blood will be measured overnight to determine whether your snoring is more than just an annoying noise you make during the night.
If it is determined that you experience mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, we may be able to help through the creation of an oral appliance, which acts to hold your lower jaw slightly forward, opening your airway while you sleep. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask Dr. Benedict at your next appointment.