Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a very common sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. While it may sound similar to snoring, OSA can rob you of restful sleep and put you at risk of multiple health issues. Sleep apnea is a condition where the soft tissues of your mouth and throat collapse into your airway causing an obstruction. This creates a lack of oxygen entering your bloodstream, and leads your body to believe you are suffocating. This is why sleep apnea is marked by gasps for breath. This can happen several times a night disrupting your sleep cycle. Facing multiple disruptions in your sleep every night can leave you feeling tired constantly. How do you know if your snoring is just snoring or if is a sign of sleep apnea?
Is It Simple Snoring Or OSA?
Simple snoring can be caused by obesity (though obesity can also increase your chances of having OSA), allergies, sinus issues from a cold or flu, advanced age, or alcohol consumption. The major difference between simple snoring and the snoring caused by sleep apnea is that OSA is marked by large disruptions in breathing. While snoring can partially block your airway to cause a noise, OSA can cause complete blockages frequently throughout the night. Talk to your doctor or dentist if you snore, so that they can help you determine if OSA is the cause.
Risks of Leaving It Untreated
The stress of multiple suffocation episodes during your sleep can take its toll on your body. Your cardiovascular system may adjust to the low amount of oxygen in your bloodstream by regulating your blood differently during your waking times. This can lead to elevated blood pressure, which puts you at a higher risk of stroke and heart disease. Losing restful sleep can lead to moodiness, weight gain, and drowsiness throughout the day. Treating sleep apnea with a custom oral appliance can help to lower your risk of developing these complications.
Could your snoring be obstructive sleep apnea?
Dr. Young can help you treat obstructive sleep apnea. We proudly help patients from Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Scott, Youngsville, and surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, contact us at our Lafayette, LA, dentist’s office at 337-237-6453.