Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Are Sleep Apnea and Snoring the Same?

The simple answer is No, snoring and sleep apnea are two very different problems. I say "problems" because both of them can interrupt your sleep and that of your partner, and interrupted sleep can lead to some very serious medical problems. Snoring is simply the noise caused by an obstruction in the airway while you sleep. The actual snoring noise is the result of the uvula and soft palate vibrating while you inhale and exhale. When you sleep, the muscles and soft tissue in your mouth and throat relax, which causes your airway to become smaller; if it becomes small enough, those two parts of your mouth will vibrate.

Sleep apnea, on the other hand, can be very serious and much more than an annoyance to your partner. People with sleep apnea actually stop breathing while they sleep; some people stop breathing for several seconds several hundred times a night. If your partner has stopped breathing while sleeping, you know this can be quite alarming! But more than that, sleep apnea can cause serious health issues such as:

Cardiac problems
Memory problems
Concentration problems
High blood pressure

If you or your partner snore or feel you may suffer from sleep apnea, there are ways to treat both of these conditions to save your health and improve your sleep.

If you live in the Gurnee, Illinois area, please contact sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Ira Shapira today to schedule an initial consultation.

posted by Lynn at 10:43 AM