Snoring is a common condition that can affect anyone, men and women, socially and medically. Socially, snoring is disruptive to family life and causes other family members sleepless nights. A recent study by the Department of Health of advertisements promoting martial health reports that snoring is a potential source of tension between spouses. Medically, snoring can be a warning sign of a serious medical condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
What is Snoring?
Snoring occurs when something blocks air from flowing freely through the nose and mouth. When you breathe, the walls of the throat vibrate and cause the snoring sound.
What are some of the causes that can lead to snoring?
• swollen tonsils and adenoids that block the airways
• being overweight, the fatty tissue in the neck puts pressure on the airways
• growths in the nasal passages (nasal polys)
• nasal congestion, stuffy nose from a cold or allergies
• alcohol consumption before bedtime reduces the resting tone of the muscles in the back of the throat (reports WebMD)
** Snoring is definitely a concern because it is linked to a serious medical condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). What it means is that if you snore, you may be at risk of having Obstructive Sleep Apnea. What are the symptoms of OSA?
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
• multiple episodes of breathing pauses, lasting for more than 10 seconds at a time (can experience up to 300 episodes per night)
• wake up with a choking or gasping for air sensation
• loud snoring
• wake up with a sore or dry throat in the morning
• wake up with morning headaches
• daytime sleepiness, lack of energy during the day, sleepy while driving
• forgetfulness, mood changes
If you have any of these symptoms, contact Glendora dentist, Dr. Anna Lee, for a free consultation for Sleep Apnea
These are some serious medical problems linked to snoring and obstructive sleep apnea:
The sleep medicine expert, Karl Doghramji, MD, medical director of the Sleep Center at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals in Philadelphia said that people with severe sleep apnea have a 40% greater chance of dying early than do their peers.
• Stroke-health data from a sleep study found that the intensity of snoring was related to the risk of carotid atherosclerosis. The louder and longer you snore each night, the greater your long-term risk for a stroke.
• Heart Disease
-sleep apnea is linked to cardiovascular problems and may lead to heart attacks
• Arrhythmias-people with long-term snoring or sleep apnea risk developing an irregular heart rhythm called arrhythmia
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)-people with sleep apnea may have GERD
• Headache-people with sleep apneas may have frequent morning headaches due to lack of deep sleep at night
• High Blood Pressure
If you snore at night, feel fatigue and moody during the day, or you are not sure if you have sleep disorder, contact Glendora dentist, Dr. Anna Lee, for a free consultation at 626-335-5114 or visit our sleep website at www.glendorasleep.com
Some Treatment Options
Treatment options depend on the cause of snoring and the severity of the condition: consult with Glendora dentist, Dr. Anna Lee, to decide what treatment is best for you.
• Cause of snoring1: lifestyle
Treatment: quite smoking, avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, sedatives, caffeine and heavy meals. Exercise regularly
• Cause of snoring2: overweight
Treatment: lose weight
• Cause of snoring3: swollen tonsils
• Cause of snoring4: Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Treatment: CPAP for moderate to severe OSA
Treatment: Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) for mild to moderate OSA
Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP)
CPAP machines are used with a variety of breathing masks. They are most widely used treatment for moderate and severe OSA.
CPAP treatment may cause side effects: dry or stuffy nose, irritated skin on the face, dry mouth, and headaches. If the CPAP device is not adjusted properly, patients may get stomach bloating and discomfort while wearing the mask.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has approved oral appliance therapy (OAT) as a first line treatment for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA. The AASM also recommends oral appliance therapy for patients with severe OSA, who are unable to tolerate or cannot wear CPAP devices. Another option for people with severe OSA is combination therapy (wearing CPAP and an oral appliance together) to help reduce the pressure on a CPAP machine, making it more comfortable to use.
Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT):
• Oral Appliance Therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment that fits easily into your lifestyle. Patients like Oral Appliance Therapy because it is:
-comfortable, easy to wear,
-portable, convenient for travel
-easy to care for
Oral Appliance Therapy my cause side effects: soreness of the mouth, saliva build-up, nausea, and damage or permanent change in position of the jaw, teeth and mouth.