Snoring is not only disruptive to the snorer’s bed partner (and sometimes disruptive to the entire family!), but can also be an indication of a more serious medical problem called Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Typically, someone with obstructive sleep apnea will snore heavily, then stop breathing for a period of time. The pause in breathing could last for as little as a few seconds, or even up to minutes at a time! The bed partner will observe that the person struggles to breathe but there is no snoring sound. These periods of lack of breathing are followed by sudden attempts to breathe often accompanied by a gasping or choking sound.
Reason 1: Excessive daytime sleepiness
If you tend to “nod off” while sitting quietly at home, at work, on the phone or while driving, it could be a sign that you are not getting refreshing sleep at night. This can lead to mood disorders, stress on personal relationships, work-related accidents and even car accidents. A Canadian study reported that people with sleep apnea are twice as likely to be in a car crash. They reported that even people with fairly mild sleep apnea had an increased risk of serious crashes. Truckers associations are informing truck drivers of sleep apnea's seriousness.
Sleepiness related to sleep apnea has also been linked to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Chernobyl disaster and Three Mile Island.
Reason 2: Snoring
Almost all people who have sleep apnea snore; but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. The only way to be sure you or your loved one’s snoring is not a more serious medical condition is to talk to your health professional about a sleep study.
Reason 3: Regular breathing stops while sleeping
The snorer’s bed partner may notice frequent times through the night when the snorer stops breathing. The number of times a patient stops breathing will determine the level of severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea – mild, moderate or severe.
Stopping breathing for 10 seconds or more while sleeping:
Reason 4: Gasping or choking while sleeping
When the throat collapses during sleep, the brain forces you to partially awaken to breathe. This can happen many times during an hour and keep you from getting the deep sleep you need.
Reason 5: Feeling unrefreshed in the morning
Because you are not getting the sleep you need, you may feel more tired in the morning after a night's sleep than you did the night before. This can also cause problems with memory, concentration and personality changes.
Reason 6: Heartburn or a sour taste in the morning or at night
Many people with sleep apnea regurgitate stomach acid while sleeping. This is known as GERD and can cause problems with your esophagus and your teeth.
Reason 7: Headaches, sore throat or dry mouth in the morning
Almost half the people with sleep apnea have headaches due to a poor night's sleep.
Reason 8: Sexual dysfunction
It's true! Obstructive sleep apnea sufferers may experience a lack of sexual desire because of fatigue. In men, sleep apnea can be a cause of Erectile Dysfunction (ED).
Reason 9: Sweating and chest pain at night
Cardiac deaths occur in the early morning hours with people who suffer from sleep apnea.
Something else you should be aware of - shirt collar size is a good indicator of sleep apnea, especially in people with high blood pressure and those who awake gasping and choking at night. If you are a woman and have a neck size of 16 inches or more, or you are a man with a shirt collar neck size of 17 inches or more and have any of the above reasons to be concerned, please check with your doctor.
If you or a loved one has experienced any of these symptoms regularly, it could be untreated obstructive sleep apnea. Contact your Isn’t Sexy dentist today for a consultation to discover if your snore is something more.
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Dr. Addy and her staff have had a great impact on the quality of our lives.We originally came to Dr. Addy due to my husband's sleep apnea. He battled the c-pap machines and tried every type imaginable but, to no avail. They were cumbersome, terrible to travel with, noisy and often went unused...hence, not helping his health issues. He was fitted with the oral appliance therapy and never looked back. Seeing his success, he suggested (in the nicest way) that I might benefit from a meeting with Dr. Addy. (I truly believed I DID NOT snore!) After analysis, I realized I was very tired most of the time...was this a part of getting older? or was it something else? My meeting with Dr Addy was wonderful. Her kind and caring nature, wonderful explanations about the importance of sleep, nature of sleep dentistry, and her passion for her work, put me at ease. My sleep study revealed that I, too, would benefit from oral appliance therapy.I am happy to report, it is so great to get a good night's sleep--one feels so much better when rested- more energy and more alert! Two different needs, one perfect solution!We have worked with Dr. Addy and her staff for a while now and are delighted with the outcome. The office is organized and efficiently run. Very willing to help in any way. Dr. Addy is a compassionate and caring physician, the likes I have not seen in a long time.She is an asset to the profession and to our community.
Hello Dr. Addy, After being diagnosed with severe Sleep Apnea, I used (fought) the CPAP machine for a year and was never successful with it. I have used the Oral Appliance that you made for me for about six months and would like for you to know how much it has helped me. I am getting good uninterrupted sleep and feel much more rested. I really appreciate the work that you have done. Thank you.
Dear Dr. Addy, I want you to know how much your kind service and the appliance has changed my life. I use it every night. Once I even had is shipped to me while on vacation - overnight of course! Now my appliance is the last thing I check before I leave for a trip! Before you fitted me with the appliance my apnea was so bad that I rarely got a full night's sleep. I had a lot of tension in my jaw and related areas and I felt tired most of the time. Other alternatives, such as surgery, seemed painful and perhaps of limited value, if any at all. The appliance was easy to use and worked completely and instantly. I have had no significant side effects. Your caring attitude and genuine concern for your patients makes it all the better! Thank you Dr. Addy -- you've made a big difference in the quality of my sleep -- and my life!
A dental appliance from Dr. Addy has given me great relief from the symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring. Dr. Addy is a very knowledgeable and caring professional. I can't thank her enough for making a difference in my quality of sleep. Thanks for everything.
Dear Dr. Addy, I am very happy to tell you that after a month of using the SUAD oral appliance, my diabetic blood sugar levels have lowered and my sleep is more restful. Also, of course, my snoring has been under excellent control--as long as I remember to change the rubber bands, which my wife is quick to remind me when she is awakened. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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