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 can have a direct effect on your health, including:
- lowering the oxygen levels in the blood
- causing your heart to work harder
- interrupting 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 stroke
- and many more health related risks.
If it is determined that you experience mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, we may be able to help you by creating an oral appliance. The device works by holding your lower jaw slightly forward, opening your airway while you sleep. If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, please ask us about sleep apnea devices during your next visit.
Dr.Bulger's blog post about obstructive sleep apnea