Has your spouse been complaining about you snoring? Obviously, keeping your partner up at night can put a strain on your relationship, but what you might not have considered is that they may not even be the only one suffering. People who frequently snore could be suffering from a disorder called obstructive sleep apnea that could be preventing them from getting a good night’s rest – and in the worst case scenario, it could even lead to life-threatening heart problems. Read on to learn more about the dangers that could be linked to snoring as well as why you might need sleep apnea therapy in the near future.
What is Snoring?
Snoring occurs when air passes relaxed tissues in your throat. The sound is a result of the tissues vibrating. Snoring every once in a while is no big deal; roughly half of all people snore at some point in their lives. (A greater percentage of men snore, but it also occurs in many women.) However, if you snore every night, it may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea – a condition where the airway is partially or completely blocked so that you frequently stop breathing in your sleep.
Why is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Dangerous?
Aside from the obvious issue of having your breathing stopped repeatedly, obstructive sleep apnea can have an extremely negative impact on your life if not treated in time. Whenever your breathing is interrupted, your brain will wake you up briefly so that you can get some air. Having your sleep disrupted like this can cause you to feel drowsy during the day, leading to a lack of concentration, loss of memory, and an increased risk of accidents while driving or working. Your overall mood will suffer as well. Furthermore, obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and strokes; in the worst-case scenario, you could be at risk for sudden death due to heart failure.
What Should Be Done About Snoring and Sleep Apnea?
If you frequently snore and notice other possible warning signs of sleep apnea (such as morning headaches, a sore throat upon awakening, and general drowsiness during the day), you should seek treatment as soon as possible. While many people think of CPAP machines when it comes to sleep disorders, a sleep dentist can offer an oral appliance as a more comfortable alternative. The appliance will reposition the tongue or the lower jaw so that the airway stays clear.
Snoring and sleep apnea can lead to many a restless night for you and your partner; seeking treatment as soon as you have reason to think something is wrong can help you both sleep peacefully again.
About the Practice
Hulen Dental has three expert dentists who have over 60 years of experience combined. They use their expertise to provide high quality dentistry to families in Forth Worth, and they have made it a point to offer a wide variety of services so that they can meet all of your oral health needs. This includes oral appliances used to relieve sleep apnea symptoms. If you think your snoring is linked to a sleep disorder, get in touch with us through our website or by calling (817) 292-5957.