When Snoring is a Warning Sign
- Posted on: Jun 30 2017
Most of us will snore on occasion. It could be that cold or seasonal allergies have caused swelling in the nasal passageways, or it could be some random event. In most situations, we do not perceive snoring to be a complicated issue. Frustrating and annoying, yes; but not complicated and, usually, not alarming. That’s most situations. But not all.
Anytime snoring occurs, it is indicative of a problem. That problem may be temporary and innocuous. When snoring occurs on a nightly basis and is highly disruptive to others in the vicinity, there may be a more dangerous cause lurking beneath the surface: obstructive sleep apnea. This condition doesn’t just involve the vibration of soft tissue as air passes over. Obstructive sleep apnea involves moments of complete blockage. No air is moving past the airway. That means no air is getting to the lungs, and that means no oxygen is getting to the brain.
A person who has obstructive sleep apnea may never fully wake up during these episodes when breathing stops. This can make it difficult to discern the problem. An indication of a sleep disorder may appear as:
- Behavioral problems in children.
- The increase in ADHD behaviors.
- Difficulty was waking up throughout the day.
- Microsleep, falling asleep at a stoplight.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Poor memory or concentration.
- Lack of motivation stemming from tiredness.
- Clumsiness or accidents.
Getting the Help that is Needed
The mere suspicion of obstructive sleep apnea is reason enough to consult with a family physician. This condition, if not appropriately managed, increases the risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attack. Sleep apnea is also associated with high blood pressure and diabetes.
A physician can perform a thorough history and physical and may order a formal sleep study to accurately determine whether or not obstructive sleep apnea is the underlying cause of other symptoms. The next question is where to go from here.
Treatment for sleep apnea often consists of CPAP. The airway is kept open with a continual stream of pressurized air that comes from a bedside machine. Air flows through a hose, into a mask, and into the airway. This can feel intrusive, to say the least.
Your Francisville dentist may also have an obstructive sleep apnea solution that would meet your needs for comfort and efficiency. Oral appliance therapy is customized by our dental professionals to promote a good night’s sleep. Learn more about this treatment at 225-635-4422.
Posted in: Sleep Apnea