Snoring… just hearing the word alone is enough to make you cringe with annoyance. But what is snoring? To put it simply, snoring is noisy breathing during sleep. It’s prevalent among people of all ages and it affects both genders. The National Sleep Foundation states that snoring affects approximately 37 million American adults on a regular basis. Therefore, it’s very likely that either you snore or sleep close to someone who does. At any rate, snoring could be a warning signal that something is wrong with your breathing at night. Let’s take a look at what causes snoring.
What causes snoring?
Snoring occurs when the air that you breathe vibrates as it passes through different parts of the nose, mouth, and throat. This produces turbulence—a vibrating sound that can range from soft wheezing sounds to loud, roar-like snores. Snoring isn’t normal and it may indicate that your nasal passages are narrow or obstructed. This occurs when you have a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, deviated septum, enlarged tonsils, oversized tongue, and by a temporary collapse of the muscles surrounding the throat. Other factors that contribute to snoring include, medications, alcohol, physical exhaustion, and sleep position.
What is Sleep Apnea and how is snoring related?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that results in the temporary slowing or stopping of breathing while you sleep. Snoring is among the most common symptoms of OSA, including daytime sleepiness and fatigue. In most cases when you experience an apnea event your body will jolt you awake with a loud snort or gasping sound to shock you back into breathing. These events happen for the same reason snoring occurs; your airway is obstructed, limiting oxygen from reaching the brain. It is very important to be tested because untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to very dangerous and life threatening health risks.
Additional Health risks
If you snore and have not seen a doctor for sleep apnea you could be putting your health in serious danger. Research shows that Sleep apnea causes depression, ADHD, anxiety, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attacks. Left untreated can also put you at risk for sudden cardiac death, which effects 180,000 to 450,000 people a year. Furthermore, sleep apnea is directly related in 47% to 83% of people with cardiovascular disease, 35% of people with high blood pressure, and 12% to 53% of people with heart failure, atrial fibrillation and stroke. The best thing you can do for your health and well-being is get tested and know your treatment options!
What are the Treatment options?
The most common treatment to sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. It is estimated though, that nearly half of all patients prescribed a CPAP machine will stop the treatment due to a sense of claustrophobia, noise, or discomfort, just to name a few. A great, non-invasive alternative to the CPAP machine is called Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). OAT is a customized mouthpiece, worn while sleeping to help maintain an open airway, eliminating snoring and treating sleep apnea. This works by positioning the jaw in an outward position to keep the airway open during sleep, allowing a steady flow of air, resulting in a more restful and healthy sleep. Research shows that more than 90% of patients report compliance using the dental device.
At Texas Sleep Solutions, we are In-Network with most major insurance companies. Take the first step to a healthier new you and schedule you consultation today! Contact us today at 469-712-6865 to find out how we can assist you!