Loud snoring can be a nuisance to your sleep partner and sound funny to those listening. However, the condition is definitely not a joke as it can be life-threatening. Snoring can be a sign of a more serious condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which elevates the risk for obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems.
OSA is one of the primary causes of snoring where airflow is restricted in the upper respiratory tract due to a combination of muscle relaxation and gravity. Those with sleep apnea tend to have less airflow and their airways can be blocked for long periods of time before reopening. Even though it is a potentially dangerous condition, there are sleep masks, mouth appliances, and other treatments that can help correct it. Weight loss can also help as the condition is common in those who are overweight. Other factors that cause snoring include the tongue blocking the back of the throat, hypothyroidism, allergies, among others.
Risk Factors of Snoring & Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring can cause the chemicals in the brain that trigger breathing to fail in some individuals. When this happens, oxygen levels will drop rapidly, causing the production of adrenaline, cortisone, and other hormones in the body to surge. These elevated hormones are known to contribute to weight gain, high blood pressure, irregularities of the heart, trigger heart attacks, and even cause death. Those with obstructive sleep apnea have reduced oxygen levels in their body even without snoring, which can damage the heart.
Those at risk for sleep apnea include:
- People who use sleeping pills or drink alcohol
- Those who suffer from congestive heart failure
- Having A narrow airway
- People with diabetes
- Men are affected more than women
- Individuals in their 50’s and 60’s
- Family history of snoring or obstructive sleep apnea
- Nasal Problems
The number of individuals with obstructive sleep apnea has grown as more people age, develop diabetes, hypertension, and gain weight. These numbers have become very concerning to health providers. As more information has been discovered regarding the health risks and symptoms associated with OSA, patients are more opt to seek help from sleep specialists.
Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
So how do you know if you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea? Knowing the symptoms can help you determine whether or not you will need to seek treatment. It may be quite evident you snore, but that doesn’t mean you have OSA. There are many additional symptoms to watch for when determining a diagnosis including:
- Daytime sleepiness or the need to take a nap
- Falling asleep while driving or watching TV
- Waking up with chronic headaches, dry or sore throat
- Chest pain during the night
- Snoring so loudly at night wakes your partner
- Restless sleep
- Unable to focus during the day
- Feeling groggy and not refreshed after waking
- Choking or gasping at night for no apparent reason
- Irregular heartbeat, known as Atrial fibrillation
- In children- behavioral issues, poor attention or performance in school
Don’t Wait-Seek Snoring Treatment Today
As stated previously, snoring can be a sign of a serious health condition. If you suspect you may have Sleep Apnea, you’ll want to talk to your family doctor or seek help from a sleep specialist right away. There are many successful treatment options available. A continuous Positive Airway Pressure device or a CPAP can improve heart function by as much as 50 percent and help reduce irregularities. However, Just Breathe DDS offers a more permanent solution compared to traditional treatment methods. Our FDA-approved oral appliances have been shown to not only help keep the airway open during sleep but at the same time stimulate the permanent growth and development of the mid and low facial structures. This allows a permanent opening of the airway and better sleep. The adult appliances can also be used simultaneously with a CPAP, BiPAP, or AutoPAP for patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea.
Get Snoring Treatment Coeur d’Alene From Just Breathe DDS
At Just Breathe DDS, we not only treat the symptoms associated with Snoring & sleep breathing disorders. We also do our best to treat some of the possible root causes of the conditions you are suffering from. Our treatment is a short-term process, generally one year, with results that last a lifetime. For more information regarding our sleep treatment or to set up a free patient education meeting, please give us a call today at (208) 500-3030. Our snoring treatment can help you sleep better and feel better!