|Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Is it sleep apnea or just snoring? This question is most commonly asked by someone experiencing the symptoms or their significant other. Before taking sleep medicine it is imperative that one consult with an experienced dental expert who can help diagnose the condition. At West End Dental, we take our patient's every need seriously and offer a variety of sleep management solutions. Dr. James Krippaehne, Dr. Kristan Rodriguez and team have helped many patients who were suffering from sleep apnea or snoring, with and without sleep medicine, and can do the same for you too.
Sleep Apnea vs. Snoring
Before you are given treatment for sleep apnea or snoring, it is important to identify your condition. This is mainly because it is very possible that you snore during the night but do not have sleep apnea, which is a far more serious condition. You will be happy to know that almost everyone snores at least once in a while. But, there are many who tend to snore during the night on a regular basis. So, how does one make the difference between snoring and sleep apnea?
The vibrating of the tissues in your mouth, nose, and throat produces snoring. When you sleep, the muscles that support these tissues relax, causing the tissues to vibrate in response to air entering your lungs and making the sound of snoring.
The speed of airflow across these tissues rises while your airway narrows, which can intensify vibration and snoring. Therefore, if airflow via your throat or nose is partially obstructed as you sleep, the likelihood of snoring increases. On the other hand, sleep apnea involves interrupted breathing during the night, which can cause a person to wake up in the middle of the night gasping for breath. There are also two types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. Both of these types can be treated effectively with the right sleep medicine.
Does it Mean You Have Sleep Apnea if you Snore?
The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 90 million Americans suffer from the same condition. Fortunately, not all of them suffer from sleep apnea. The most common reason of snoring is an obstruction of the upper airway. Simple snoring is not the same as sleep apnea because the latter causes its sufferers to really experience brief intervals of unconsciousness during the night. The duration of these episodes might range from a few seconds to over a minute.
Despite getting a full night's sleep, people with sleep apnea frequently experience fatigue or may even nod off throughout the day due to intermittent breathing disturbances that alter their regular sleep patterns. Additionally, sleep apnea has been connected to increased risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and other medical conditions.
There might be personal and lifestyle issues causing your snoring. Alcohol, some medications, and congestion can exacerbate snoring. Additionally, if you smoke, sleep on your back, or are overweight or obese, you may be more susceptible to snoring and sleep apnea.
If you'd like to be checked for sleep apnea, contact West End Dental and we will schedule you for a consultation.