Snoring refers to the vibration sound in your throat, mouth or nose that may occur during sleep. The sound is a result of vibration caused by a narrowing airway that still requires air to pass through it. It is estimated that upwards of 45% of adults snore occasionally. Occasional snoring seems to create little more than an annoyance to the person sleeping beside you. Upwards of 20% of people, however, experience habitual or chronic snoring.
Chronic snoring can be a symptom of a more serious condition that not only affects your bedmate, but also affects your quality of life and potentially your health. Chronic snoring can be a symptom of many disorders, one being Sleep Apnea. Apnea is defined as "the temporary reduction or cessation of breath". Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when these interruptions in breathing occur for periods of 10 seconds or longer while you sleep (with the severity of your condition determined by how many times it occurs in an hour of sleep).
This reduction in breathing caused by Obstructive Sleep Apnea can, along with other occurrences, have a direct effect on your health, including lowering the oxygen levels in the blood, causing your heart to work harder; and interrupting your sleep.
Early symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea include:
- - daytime fatigue
- - trouble concentrating
- - irritability
- - poor memory
- - headaches
Left untreated, Sleep Apnea can lead to:
- - high blood pressure
- - diabetes
- - heart complications and strokes
To properly diagnose a sleep or breathing disorder, a sleep study must be conducted. This involves a night spent under observation at a sleep clinic. During a sleep study, your sleep patterns, movements, and oxygen levels in your blood will be measured overnight to determine if your snoring is more than just an annoying noise you make during the night.
If your snoring is a nuisance to your partner or it is determined through a sleep study that your snoring is a sign of something more serious, speak to us. We can create a customized dental appliance that has been shown to help reduce the incidence of apnea events in people with mild to moderate cases. Dental appliances work by guiding your lower jaw slightly forward, widening your airway allowing you to keep breathing while you sleep. A custom dental appliance may be the answer to helping you as well as your partner to getting the restful night sleep you deserve.