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.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Snoring is sometimes merely a harmless if irritating (just ask your sleeping partner) habit, but it is often a symptom of the dangerous condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Loud, nightly snoring is the most common symptom of OSA, a potentially fatal sleep disorder characterized by episodes in which your breathing stops for upward of 10 seconds at a time multiple times per hour. If not treated, obstructive sleep apnea can increase your risk for a host of severe medical problems including hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack and stroke.

There are a number of factors that affect whether you snore, but snoring itself is the result of an airway obstruction that forces your respirations through a narrowed passage, causing tissue in your mouth and throat to vibrate as you breathe in and out. Chronic snoring that is accompanied by a person waking up gasping and choking is a telltale symptom of sleep apnea.

Because people with OSA are often unaware that they snore or suffer interrupted sleep, it’s important to discuss snoring and sleep apnea with family members or other loved ones if they snore regularly. Although many people snore at least occasionally, snoring can also be a sign of a problem bigger than the annoyance of your sleeping partner and family.

If you believe you or a loved one may suffer from sleep apnea, please contact IHateCPAP.com to locate a dentist near you who specializes in sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment.

posted by Steve at 2:24 PM