Effects of snoring, sleep apnea and treatment
Chronic snoring occurs at night regardless of the sleeper’s position. Many times, chronic snoring is so severe, it disrupts the sleep patterns of everyone in the household. Severe snoring is both relentless and can be quite loud.
Snoring is a sleep disorder caused when the muscles and soft tissue in the throat and mouth relax, making the airway smaller, resulting in vibrations during breathing. Snoring can be more than just loud noises and disturbing to others. It can be serious enough to cause a stroke. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than half of all strokes in the US are caused by plaque buildup in the carotid arteries, known as atherosclerosis.
Snoring causes vibrations, which can damage the cells in artery walls. This triggers the early formation of atherosclerosis, which sets the stage for the buildup of plaque within the artery. A stroke occurs when the artery is blocked by a blood clot which is formed from the buildup of plaque or when a piece of plaque breaks loose and becomes wedged in your brain.
When a person stops breathing while sleeping, the oxygen concentration in their blood stream is lowered. Over time, this lack of oxygen can lead to serious health problems. Every time you stop breathing, your brain causes you to briefly wake up. This can occur hundreds of times a night causing fragmented sleep which in turn results in poor sleep quality. Because the body’s healing process occurs during the deep sleep stage, one can’t properly heal themselves if not receiving the proper amount of deep sleep.
The most common type of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is caused by a blockage of the airway which is usually at the base of the tongue. The soft tissue in the rear of the throat can also collapse and close during sleep. In the past, Sleep Apnea was thought to affect only over-weight people but in fact anyone can have OSA.
Common signs of sleep apnea are:
- Loud snoring
- Choking or gasping during sleep
- Morning headaches
- Gastro-Esophageal Reflux (GERD)
- Concentration difficulty
- Mood swings or personality changes
- Daytime sleepiness
- Sleepiness while driving
Obstructed Sleep Apnea left untreated can cause:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Memory problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Congestive heart failure
- Other health related problems
Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment
Oral Appliance Therapy is an appliance that comes in two separate pieces. It is fitted over the upper and lower teeth to help move the lower jaw forward and reposition the tongue, soft palate, and the hyoid bone. This in turn, helps to open the airway.
There are different types of oral appliances that can treat snoring and sleep apnea. After evaluation, Dr. Busciglio will determine and custom make the appliance that is appropriate for you. If you are considering an evaluation at a Brandon sleep center, take a few minutes to discuss your concerns with us and learn more about the latest procedures. We provide treatment for many patients with sleep apnea in Brandon, FL.
If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, call Bay Area TMJ & Sleep Center today to schedule a comprehensive evaluation.