Snoring And Your Health

added on: October 31, 2017

Do you snore? If so, it can be a disruption to your quality of sleep, an embarrassment or even a wedge between sharing a bed with your mate.

An estimated 90 million adults in the U.S. snore, which is a problem that’s common across all age groups and affects males and females. However, those most at risk are males and individuals who are overweight. Snoring also grows more problematic as adults age.

While snoring can compromise quality of sleep, it can also contribute to daytime fatigue. Even worse, however, snoring is believed to be linked to heart disease.

WHY do you snore?
Snoring occurs due to physical issues. Sleep places your body in a relaxed state. During this time, the muscles in the throat and tongue (also a muscle) relax. The tongue can droop into the back of the mouth, partially obstructing the throat. Obstructed breathing causes the walls of the throat to vibrate, which creates a snoring sound. As the airway becomes more narrow, the more vibration occurs and thus, the louder snoring becomes.

Sleep position, especially sleeping on one’s back, can lead to snoring. The aging process is another cause. As we age, the muscles of the throat relax, which can lead to snoring. Physical abnormalities of the nose and throat (including enlarged tonsils or adenoids or deviated septum) can lead to narrowing of the throat during sleep that can cause snoring. Other problems such as inflammation in the nose or throat from respiratory infections or allergies can lead to snoring.

As concerning as snoring is, it can become a more severe health problem. During snoring, the walls of the throat can sometimes collapse. This can completely block air flow, creating a condition called apnea. About 50 percent of those who snore also have sleep apnea for this reason.

‘Apnea’ is a Greek word that translates to “suspension in breathing.” When this occurs during sleep, these pauses can last for up to a minute and repeat 30 times or more over the course of a night.

This deprives the body, especially the heart and brain, with sufficient oxygen flow. Sleep apnea sufferers often experience this deprivation of oxygen for hours, night after night.

In addition to daytime fatigue and lack of alertness, sleep apnea has been associated with a number of serious conditions. These include heart disease, stroke, obesity, depression, headaches and diabetes. As research continues, more and more conditions are being added to the list of health risks associated with sleep apnea.

If you snore, you are urged to have a sleep study. There are now a number of at-home sleep study systems that can effectively measure sleep patterns and oxygen intake. Most are covered by insurance and mailed directly to your home. These systems allow you to sleep comfortably in your own bed and mail the results back to the company upon completion. The results are read by a qualified sleep physician.

If the study shows that you have sleep apnea, it is imperative to take measures to restore sufficient airflow during sleep. If you have severe sleep apnea, you’ll need to discuss a CPAP device with your physician. However, some people have a difficult time adjusting to these devices.

CPAP is an acronym for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This device consists of a mask that is worn over the face while in bed. The mask is attached to a hose that is connected to a fan. The fan portion generates air that is sent through the hose to the mask. This pushes air into the individual’s airway during sleep.

While effective, common complaints with CPAP are noise, feeling claustrophobic, being unable to move around comfortably in bed, inconvenience (especially when traveling), and embarrassment. However, for those who have mild to moderate sleep apnea, there is an alternative to CPAP.

We create custom-designed oral devices that are small and similar to a custom-made mouth guard. The device moves the jaw slightly forward, which opens up the airway passenges and allows for sufficient airway flow. These devices are comfortable and do not interfere with sleep.

Snoring is no laughing matter when it comes to your health. If you snore, take measures to halt it — without surgery – with our oral appliance therapy. If you suspect sleep apnea, please act soon. Sleep apnea is too serious of a health threat to ignore, especially when the solution may be as simple as an oral device.

Call 586-739-2155 to learn more. Begin with a free, no obligation consultation, if preferred. We’ll be happy to discuss your symptoms and explain the process we provide.


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Dr. Ban R. Barbat

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