Sleep Apnea & Snoring
SLEEP APNEA: the cessation of breathing during sleep for at least 10 seconds at least five times an hour.
Under diagnosed and frequently dismissed simply as harmless yet annoying snoring, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a very dangerous condition. If you or a loved one snores loudly at night, please have a sleep study done to rule out this potentially fatal condition.
Do I have a Sleep Disorder?
A simple test can be taken that will grade this last symptom called the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Additionally, a Sleep Observers Questionnaire should be filled out by anyone who regularly observes the potential sleep apneic. Not all apneics will score high, but if you do, it is a very good sign of OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). If you are diagnosed, a sleep apnea dentist can offer effective treatment options.
Snoring occurs when the airway or passage through which we breathe becomes partially blocked or occluded. An example would be a tongue that falls back as we drift off into deeper sleep. As the diameter or size of the airway passage is shrinking, the net result is a muffled sound secondary to vibrations in the throat, or snoring.
In many situations, this compromise is minor and the body continues to get adequate amounts of oxygen to cause little or no harm. However, this is a red flag as it could also be one of the early signs or a part of sleep apnea. Most all sleep apnea sufferers snore in between bouts of apnea, or oxygen interruption. A sleep study should be done to determine the seriousness of one’s condition, and then the proper sleep apnea treatment can be prescribed.
Sleep apnea patients have a rough night and don’t even know it is happening. In a given night, these apneic events (when a patient stops breathing) can occur anywhere from 30 – 50 times, and in some people as many as 60 - 100 times per hour and not be aware of waking, but suffer the effects. Obviously, these individuals awake exhausted and spent each morning, as they’ve been fighting for oxygen all night.
Watch this video about how you can change the way you sleep and the way you feel with a simple mouth piece made for sleep apnea sufferers.