Is it Snoring or Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea and snoring are two sleep disorders that can be distinguished by the severity of symptoms. Snoring is simply a sound you make when your breathing is blocked while you are asleep. The sound is caused by tissues at the top of your airway that strike each other and vibrate. Heavy snoring is a major symptom of sleep apnea, however if you snore, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops for more than ten seconds during sleep. Sleep apnea is a major, though often unrecognized, cause of daytime sleepiness. It can have serious negative effects on a person’s quality of life, as the ability to enter long periods of deep sleep hinders the body to perform numerous restorative functions.
Whether your heavy snoring is an indication of sleep apnea or not, Dr. Huff will make sure you receive the correct diagnosis and the appropriate treatment.
Alternatives to CPAP
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, the most successful nighttime treatment is a CPAP machine. This large device delivers a steady stream of air into the patient’s airway in order to maintain a constant airflow. Unfortunately, most patients stop using CPAP after less than a year due to its bulkiness, noise interruptions, and usage difficulties.
For patients with mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea, our alternative solution is an oral appliance. This is a custom-crafted user-friendly device that fits into your mouth and resembles a retainer. An oral appliance is small, portable, and comfortable. You can take it anywhere.
In addition to treating mild to moderate sleep apnea, oral appliances can also be used to treat snoring and teeth grinding that’s associated with TMJ Disorder.
The Risks of Ignoring Your Sleep Apnea
Your sleep apnea isn’t going away on its own. When left untreated, the consequences of sleep apnea can be devastating and even fatal. In addition to strokes and heart attacks, sleep apnea is linked to depression, anxiety, obesity, and several other damaging medical conditions.
Sleep apnea also affects your ability to complete basic tasks. Oftentimes, fatigued sleep apnea sufferers are responsible for numerous traffic accidents annually. And in children, sleep apnea causes daytime drowsiness and behavioral and academic problems at school. Unfortunately, childhood sleep apnea is often misdiagnosed as ADHD due to the similarity in symptoms.
The combination of behavioral changes and oral appliances allow your sleep apnea to be treated successfully.
Sleep Apnea FAQs Answered by Dr. Huff
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops for more than ten seconds during sleep. Although often unrecognized, sleep apnea can cause daytime sleepiness and can have serious negative effects on a person’s quality of life.
What are common symptoms of sleep apnea?
The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, excessive daytime drowsiness, fatigue, irritability, memory loss, morning headaches, and mood swings.
If you notice these signs in you or a loved one, contact your physician to receive a sleep study.
How is sleep apnea treated?
Typically, the initial treatment that doctors will prescribe sufferers for their sleep apnea is a CPAP machine. However, due to its bulkiness, discomfort, and noisiness, many people stop using it.
An alternative solution is a custom-crafted oral appliance that fits in your mouth and resembles a mouthguard. An oral appliance is small, portable, and comfortable!
Some sufferers may also get surgery if they have severe sleep apnea.
What are the consequences of untreated sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can lead to a wide variety of health consequences, from the minor to the very serious. These health conditions associated with sleep apnea include heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, hypertension, sexual dysfunction, obesity, and sometimes fatality.
Who's at a higher risk for sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is more commonly seen among men than women and in older people than younger people — although children with enlarged tonsils are at risk. Also, overweight people can be at a higher risk for the sleep disorder as well.