Could you be in danger?
Absolutely, when sleep apnea is involved. Ask yourself or your sleep partner these questions:
- Do you snore?
- Are you tired or irritable during the day?
- Do you doze off while watching TV, reading, or performing daily activities?
- Does your snoring awaken your bed partner?
- Have you or your bed partner observed that you stop breathing or gasp for breath while sleeping?
- Do you have some or all of these unhealthy symptoms listed in this article?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions you may have a sleep disorder.
The worst symptom is a heart attack
Don't let sleep apnea lead to the worst symptom of all — a heart attack! Many heart attacks could be prevented if those people affected with this would get help. Sleep apnea in children can often be treated by simply removing tonsils and adenoids, which are obstructing the airways. However, adults present with a more complicated problem where the back of the tongue is occluding the airway. Over time, people who have this problem suffer the consequences. These people are often asked to sleep in remote areas when others are around, or to not sleep with someone who cannot tolerate their loud and erratic noises. Eventually, many symptoms begin to evolve.
What causes snoring?
Snoring occurs when the jaw opens and the tongue falls into the back of the throat, causing the airway to narrow and forcing air through the smaller opening. This creates sound vibrations in the throat known as snoring. Snoring and sleep apnea may cause chronic sleepiness, strokes, heart attacks, high cholesterol, fibromyalgia, heartburn, depression, morning headaches, high blood pressure backache, aching joints and impotence.
Your snoring may be a warning
Although snoring itself is physically harmless, it could be
a "fire alarm" for a serious medical condition, obstructive
sleep apnea (OSA).
In sleep apnea, the tongue is sucked completely against
the back of the throat and, once the airway is blocked,
breathing stops. When that happens, the harder the
sleeper tries to breathe, the tighter the airway seal
becomes. It's like trying to drink through a straw that's
stuck in a lump of ice cream. The harder you suck, the
flatter the straw becomes.
This airway obstruction lasts until the brain's oxygen level
falls low enough to partially awaken the sleeper. The tongue
then returns to a more normal position and — with a loud gasp
or snore — the airway seal is broken.
Because of sleep interruptions and lowered oxygen levels,
the sleep apnea victim frequently feels chronically fatigued
and is also more accident prone. Other physical disorders linked to snoring include chronic
fatigue, morning headaches, mouth and throat problems
and even heart problems.
Dr. Ron Perkins offers the redesigned TAP® (Thornton Adjustable Positioner) appliance to prevent numerous side effects, such as bite changes, jaw joint or TMJ discomfort, and unwanted tooth movement. Call today to schedule an appointment.
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What is Sleep Apnea?
Can Snoring Be Fatal?
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
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Many women have sleep apnea and do not snore.