If you snore, gasp, or stop breathing during sleep, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. At Healthier Sleep Solutions, we offer alternatives to CPAP like oral appliances and positional therapy. Please feel free to contact our office today for more information about our options for treating sleep apnea in Hunt Valley, Maryland, and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nathanson.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is caused when there is an obstruction, such as the tongue or soft palate, in the airway during sleep. The annoying sound caused by snoring is the air being forced through a constricted airway, with the vibrations that occur creating the sound. While snoring isn’t always a symptom of sleep apnea, it’s quite often a
very strong indicator that apnea may be present—about 70% of loud snorers have some degree of obstructive sleep apnea.
Typically, heavy snoring is found in overweight males, but it can and does affect men and women of all body types. Age also helps contribute to an increase in snoring. An oral appliance not only helps to reduce or stop apnea events from occurring—thus allowing the patient to breath properly during sleep–but it can also reduce or stop the loud snoring, helping the apnea patient’s bed partner to get a healthy night’s sleep as well.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder marked by interruptions and pauses in breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by obstructions in the airway, such as the tongue rolling back in the throat or collapsed tissues in the airway. Untreated sleep apnea can contribute to several serious health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, migraine headaches, and erectile dysfunction.
Common signs of sleep apnea include:
Extreme drowsiness during the day
Personality changes and irritability
Difficulty staying asleep
Awakening with a very dry or sore throat
Frequent morning headaches
Sleep apnea treatment may depend on the severity of the condition. If you suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has identified oral appliances as an effective first line treatment. The oral appliance works to treat obstructive sleep apnea by preventing the tongue from blocking the air passage or by holding your jaw in a position that prevents airway blockages during sleep. For more information on sleep apnea treatment, we welcome you to call or visit Healthier Sleep Solutions today. We are committed to helping you improve your health!