Snoring is an extremely common occurrence. Many people snore in some capacity, whether they know that they do or not. Snoring occurs when the flow of air from your mouth or nose to your lungs makes the tissues of your throat vibrate when you sleep. This creates a distinctive, sometimes raspy noise, and the resulting sound may be louder or softer from person to person. Loud snoring can make it hard for you or for others nearby to get a good night’s rest from the noise, but snoring that is accompanied by choking, gasping or the stoppage of breath while sleeping may be an indication that you have sleep apnea.
Snoring is not always a sign of a health problem or a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea, but it helps to know what other symptoms are associated with sleep apnea so that you can tell whether your snoring is a side effect. People who are relatively soft snorers generally do not have sleep apnea, and even some loud snorers are just that: loud snorers. But if your loud snoring is often accompanied by gasping breaths, choking on air in the middle of the night or long periods without breathing, then you may have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition wherein the airways used while breathing are closed off while sleeping. This is what causes the breathing difficulties, and since you are sleeping it can be difficult or even impossible to control the way in which you are breathing in order to ease your symptoms so that you can sleep soundly. Remember, snoring is not always a sign of sleep apnea, but if you or someone you know snores, it always helps to make sure. Take note of other symptoms that may occur while sleeping and snoring and you may just get your answer.
Not getting a restful night of sleep can be the result of many different things. It may be that you are too stressed, not sleeping properly, or are generally too active before resting at night. But if you regularly feel tired, have issues breathing and other symptoms in addition to not feeling like you have slept well, then you may have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a disorder where your breathing is often blocked or partly blocked while you are asleep. The issue can be anywhere from mild to severe, but it really depends on the patient. The main concern with people who have sleep apnea are the periods of time where their breathing stops. This phenomenon may occur anywhere from 5 to 50 times per night and may trouble those who sleep near you or in the same dwelling as you do. It is often this particular symptom, very often addressed by those you live with, that alerts patients to the possibility that sleep apnea might be the problem.
There are other symptoms and side effects associated with this condition, however, and may help you determine whether or not you should see a dentist or specialist for help. Some of the other associated issues found in patients with sleep apnea include not feeling rested after a night’s sleep, feeling generally sleepy throughout the day, waking up with a headache, snoring loudly, waking up choking or gasping in the middle of the night, or generally tossing and turning. Sleep apnea may also affect children as well, so it is wise that parents pay attention to their behavior in order to tell when they should seek medical help. Symptoms for sleep apnea in children may include snoring, hyperactivity or other attention deficit problems throughout the day, the inability to focus, and restless sleeping that may also be accompanied by frequent bed-wetting.
Sleep apnea can be a difficult condition to live with, especially since it takes a considerable toll on the quality of your sleep. Sleep apnea is a condition wherein the air passages that you use to breath are blocked or are partially blocked while you are sleeping. This can cause a series of side effects such as fatigue, morning headaches and un-restful sleep. Some side effects include snoring, gasping or choking in your sleep, and periods of time where you are not breathing which is not good for your health. CPAP appliances or continuous positive airway pressure appliances can be used to ensure that your airways are not blocked during sleep, but some people have problems with these devices. They may not fit properly, they may cause the patient to feel claustrophobic or they may have difficulties breathing forced air.
Luckily, there are plenty of CPAP alternatives. Oral appliances or oral appliance therapy, also referred to as OAT, can be used as a successful alternative. Night Shift is a special device that can be attached to the neck that will help guide patients into better sleeping positions if they begin to move into a position that is less conducive to healthy breathing. People may also be interested in the Winx Sleep Therapy System that generates negative pressure in the oral cavity, which draws the soft palate and uvula forward, and stabilizes the tongue position, thus enlarging the upper airway in order for you to breathe more easily. There are also a variety of different minimally invasive in-office procedures that can help too, such as the Pillar Procedure, Somnoplasty and other more intensive surgeries.
If CPAP does not work well for you or if you have general problems using the CPAP device, your dentist or sleep apnea specialist can assess your condition and your overall health in order to determine which alternative treatment methods might be worth exploring.