Is Your Snoring a Sign of Something More Serious?
Have you ever startled yourself awake by snoring? Does your partner complain of restless nights, or consistently need to move you in bed to stop your snoring? While snoring is common, it can be a signal that there are other, more serious issues going on. If you or your partner snore and night, Advanced Dentistry by Design is here to help.
Snoring is something everyone experiences from time to time, however, if your snoring is a nightly occurrence it may be time to make a change. Sometimes, snoring can be a sign of a serious sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms along with your snoring, seek professional help.
Sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep, causing someone to stop breathing. When this occurs oxygen to the brain is limited and the brain, in need of oxygen, wakes up. Snoring happens when the muscles in the throat relax and vibrate or when tonsils constrict the airflow causing an audible sound. Snoring can be the precursor of, or signal of sleep apnea.
Signs and Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
If you experience, or your partner witnesses any of the following signs, you may have obstructive sleep apnea.
- Breathing stops for short or long periods during sleep
- Daytime fatigue
- Concentration and focus issues
- Gasping or choking during sleep
- Large tonsils
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Moodiness and irritability
- High blood pressure
- Nighttime sweating
- Decreased libido
You may not understand they relate these things to a sleep disorder! Many people with OSA are unaware of the signs and symptoms. However, OSA can be a serious problem, so if you suspect it, make an appointment with your primary care provider.
Risk Factors for OSA
People who suffer from OSA may have some things in common. According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors of OSA include:
People who carry extra weight have a higher likelihood of having OSA. A large neck and heavy fat deposits can put pressure on the airway. However, not all overweight people have OSA, and not all OSA sufferers are overweight.
Having a narrow airway
It could be you were born with a naturally smaller airway. Or, you may have a medical condition or large tonsils that constrict the space and therefore the airflow.
High blood pressure
OSA is more common in people with hypertension.
People who smoke are more likely to have OSA.
Being a man
Men are twice as likely as premenopausal women to have OSA.
If you have a family history of sleep apnea, you are more likely to have it.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious issue and requires medical intervention. They have linked it to heart disease and diabetes. If your OSA can be remedied with a special oral appliance, specially trained dentists can fit you for one, but let your doctor determine the best course of action for your case.
Snoring can be irritating, but if you snore, it may be a sign of something more serious. If you snore every night, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor. If you aren’t sure and would like to talk more about it, we are happy to help. Contact Advanced Dentistry by Design today!