Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder that nearly 22 million Americans are suffering from. It occurs when a person’s breathing pattern is interrupted by a blockage in their airway during their sleep. This causes the soft tissue in the back of their throat to collapse and typically produces loud snoring sounds. Snoring may be harmless in some cases, but it can also be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Why a Good Night’s Sleep is Important
These interruptions may occur 5 to 30 times or more each hour, all night long. This disruption is usually so brief that you don’t remember. That means you are unlikely to get into a deep, restful sleep that is required to feel recharged are ready for the next day. Sleep apnea stresses the body and brain, night after night.
A good night sleep helps in healing and repairing your heart and blood vessels. Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). Sleep deficiency– the level of ghrelin goes up and the level of leptin goes down–makes you feel hungrier than if you were to be well-rested. Sleep deficiency can also result in a higher blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes. Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy.
Causes and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Because many people believe snoring is a normal habit, many cases of sleep apnea go undiagnosed. To help determine if you or your sleeping partner are suffering from this sleep disorder, there are other factors and side effects of OSA to consider. These causes and symptoms include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Waking up unrefreshed in the morning
- Loud snoring
- Restless sleep
- Choking or stopping breathing during sleep
- Difficulty concentrating and poor memory
- Irritability or personality change
- Morning headaches
- Weight gain
- Reduced sex drive
Not all patients share the same risk for sleep apnea. Uncontrollable factors linked to sleep apnea include the patient’s age and gender. Older patients have been found to have a higher risk for the condition, as well as males, who are two to three times more likely than women to have OSA.
Research has also found that sleep apnea increases your risk for other major health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, and type 2 diabetes.
When Should I See a Doctor?
Seeing a doctor for your snoring can resolve any current or future issues for your health. If you are unsure of the severity that your snoring is causing to your health or your partner’s well-being, our sleep assessments will help both you and us understand your condition more. Once officially diagnosed, our Southfield dentist will help you find a personalized treatment to fit your personal needs.
If you feel like you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, please take a moment to take our Sleep Apnea Assessment Test. We will score it and let you know how we can help you.