If you or your partner snores, you are not alone. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, approximately 90 million Americans snore while they sleep. Nearly half of those snorers are considered ‘simple snorers’ while the other have suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The two are often mistakenly interchanged, which results in incorrect treatment. While OSA will almost always involve loud snoring, snoring is not necessarily caused by OSA. Understanding the differences between them can help you identify which one you or your partner suffer from. Once you can identify, you can treat and hopefully put an end to the restless nights.
Simple snoring may not be constant. It may happen infrequently or only when caused to happen. Things like sinus infections, colds, seasonal allergies, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking may all cause occasional snoring. Overweight people tend to snore regularly due to the excess soft tissues that can vibrate while they sleep.
The most telling difference between sleep apnea and simple snoring is frequent snoring with frequent stops in breathing. The stop may sound like you are struggling to breath because your body is literally suffocating. OSA causes the soft tissues to collapse into your airway blocking the flow of oxygen to your bloodstream. If you have a partner, friend, or family member who notices these types of breathing disruption while you sleep, you may have OSA. Since you are unlikely to notice these tiny suffocations while you are sleeping, you may want to participate in a sleep study to fully diagnose if you have obstructive sleep apnea.
Tiny suffocations while you sleep not only limits the amount of true rest you get, but it also puts your body through a great deal of stress. Those suffering from sleep apnea tend to be at higher risk for stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Your dentist can treat your sleep apnea making sure that you and/or your partner start getting restful nights sleep.
Dr. Carmona can help identify and treat sleep apnea. To schedule a consultation with Austin Prosthodontics in Austin, TX, call 512-250-9444. We also proudly welcome patients from Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Leander, and all surrounding Texas communities.