Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring is a bothersome sleeping condition that impacts nearly half of all adults. While most cases of snoring are nothing more than a minor annoyance, the habit can be a symptom of a very serious medical problem known as obstructive sleep apnea. Whether your snoring is the result of something serious or just a slightly embarrassing issue, the team at ProSmiles Dental will help you put a rest to the habit so that you can get a great sleep every night.
Snoring vs. Sleep Apnea
Snoring occurs when the flowing air traveling through the passages located at the back of a person’s mouth and nose becomes blocked, resulting in loud vibrations that can be disruptive for both the snorer and their sleeping partner. These blockages are typically caused by the throat becoming overly relaxed when the snorer is asleep. Although snoring can be annoying, it is usually nothing to be concerned about.
That being said, a person who snores heavily and frequently should have their habit examined by a professional. This is because heavy snoring is the defining characteristic of a dangerous medical condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. A person suffering from obstructive sleep apnea will experience severe breathing troubles, including shallow breaths and excessive pauses in breathing that can last in excess of a minute. If the condition is left untreated, it can result in life-threatening issues including heart attack and stroke.
While snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are heavily correlated, their respective treatment methods are notably quite different.
Snoring can usually be solved by making positive lifestyle changes and basic sleeping adjustments. Some of the most effective methods for eliminating an unwanted snoring habit include:
- Losing weight
- Exercising more
- Avoiding sleep medication
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Sleeping on the side instead of the back
- Elevating one’s head while asleep
While snoring can usually be treated by making simple changes, obstructive sleep apnea is a more serious condition that requires direct medical intervention. Some treatment methods for obstructive sleep apnea include:
- CPAP Devices
- EPAP Therapy
- Mouth Guards
If you or a loved one is experiencing heavy snoring and you want to put a stop to the problem or find out if obstructive sleep apnea may be the culprit, please call us at (817) 369-8000 to schedule an appointment.