Snoring is one of life’s many mysteries. Why is it that some people are very loud whenever they sleep? What causes this seemingly trivial but very annoying inconvenience? And what can Dr. Compton do in order to solve your problem with snoring?
Sleep apnea and snoring.
If your main problem is that you cannot sleep because your spouse or roommate is too noisy or if you’re scared to fall asleep because of the noise you make when you do, then that problem may just be the tip of the iceberg. Snoring may actually be a symptom of something more serious such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition wherein a person ceases from breathing momentarily while sleeping.
There are two reasons for why a person could develop sleep apnea. The first is that tissues lining the esophagus and the throat in general could cave in and block the air passages. The vibrations coming from the very narrow air tube can cause the noise. The second reason is more serious since it involves the inability of your brain to signal your muscles to continue to breathe while you are sleeping.
What are the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea?
Because sleep apnea happens while one is unconscious, it can be rather difficult for a person to know for sure that he or she has the condition, although a roommate or spouse can tell him or her so. However, there are some signs and symptoms which could suggest to a person that he or she might be suffering from this sleeping disorder.
Because of the interruptions of the supply of oxygen to the brain, individuals who suffer from sleep apnea may feel very tired and have daytime sleepiness. Headaches can also develop throughout the night or upon waking up. Sufferers may also recount waking up suddenly with the feeling of choking or gasping for air.
An intra-oral appliance may be used to prevent the tissues from caving into the opening of the airways. Your dentist can fit you with a mandibular advancement splint or MAS. These oral appliances are made specifically for each person and are designed to be worn at night. Your dentist may also suggest that you lose weight so that there are less tissues which can obstruct the airways. Obesity is also a contributing factor to the development of sleep apnea and snoring.
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