Do you think snoring is a funny habit that is normal and doesn’t require any treatment? Your thinking undoubtedly needs treatment because snoring persistently and loudly is a surefire indicator you could be affected by obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is caused by the partial closing of your upper respiratory tract. The habit, although appearing inconsequential, can have severe implications on your overall health.
Snoring causes a significant health risk as your upper airway is obstructed and stops you from breathing when sleeping. Let us look at why you are snoring and the risks you are exposed to because of this problem.
Snoring is a problem that doesn’t affect everyone but is prevalent in five percent of Americans older than 40. The problem affects men more than women and is common among people with obesity, smoking, or breathing problems. These factors lead to enlarged tonsils, excess weight around the neck, or an enlarged tongue, making the airway of the affected individual narrow for air to move to their lungs. The obstruction causes vibrations in the throat bringing out the snoring sound.
Is always snoring dangerous? If you are a sporadic snorer, you may not be exposed to the hazardous consequences of snoring. However, you have a problem on your hands when you have daily loud and prominent snoring episodes when sleeping. If you are affected by sleep apnea, you can suffer from the following symptoms when sleeping or awake in the mornings.
Besides loud and persistent snoring, you repeatedly pause when breathing and wake up choking or gasping for air. Your sleeping patterns are restless, forcing you to make frequent visits to the bathroom.
Daytime sleepiness and early morning headaches are common symptoms you confront during the day. You also develop the habit of falling asleep during routine activities while at work and are plagued by low concentration. You can be irritable and difficult to approach when affected by the problem of snoring.
Trying to spot the dangers of snoring yourself is a challenge you will find difficult to overcome, if not impossible. It helps to talk to your bed partner to understand if they are frequently disturbed by your loud snoring and determine by yourself whether you are affected by any symptoms described above.
Your bed partner may be hesitant or reluctant to provide information about your snoring habits. However, suppose you are affected by daytime symptoms. In that case, it is time for you to discuss your problem with your doctor or dentist, who can determine whether the issue needs evaluation and even explain the dangers of snoring to you.
Snoring not only exposes you to health issues like heart disease, strokes, and mental health concerns. It also makes you susceptible to accidents because of the lack of concentration during the day. You can be detracted from your activities when driving to pave the way for road accidents. Your blood oxygen levels can drop to dangerous levels when sleeping, especially when you snore for over 30 seconds.
Dentists are not experienced in sleep medicine but are the pioneers of treatment for sleep apnea. When you contact your dentist for a remedy, you are referred to a sleep medicine specialist who may recommend a home sleep apnea dentist to determine whether you are affected by the problem of sleep apnea.
After receiving the results of the test, the sleep medicine specialist refers you back to your dentist or to a physician to gain control over the problem of sleep apnea. The discretion of receiving treatment from a physician or dentist is entirely yours. Physicians offer you a CPAP or BPAP device to wear when sleeping. Although extremely useful, the device is uncomfortable to make it difficult for you to adhere to the same. It is also expensive and difficult to carry along if you are a frequent traveler.
On the other hand, if you prefer treating sleep apnea from your dentist, they provide you with an oral appliance that helps keep your lower jaw in a forward position to make airway passage to your lungs easier and help you sleep better. The oral device is portable and comfortable to wear. Most importantly, it is custom designed for you by your dentist. You will find it convenient to overcome sleep apnea with the device provided by the dentist to rid the problems affecting you.