Snoring? It’s annoying emanating from your partner, or if you’re the one snoring you may be the target of some jokes, but a sign of sleep apnea? Serving Redmond WA residents, Dr. Files knows most would never equate snoring with possible sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea? Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type and occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep, causing a blockage of the airway (as well as loud snoring). As the airflow stops (typically for 10 to 20 seconds and up to hundreds of times a night), the oxygen level in your blood drops. Your brain responds by briefly disturbing your sleep enough to kick-start breathing, which often resumes with a gasp or choking sound. You probably won’t remember these awakenings, since you’ll stir just enough to tighten your throat muscles and open your windpipe.
Is it just “normal” snoring or a sign of sleep apnea? The biggest telltale sign can be how you feel during the day. Normal snoring won’t interfere with the quality of your sleep to the extent sleep apnea does. Ask yourself: Am I told I’m a loud/regular snorer? Have I been observed gasping for breath during sleep? Do I wake feeling groggy or with a headache? Am I falling asleep sitting, reading, watching TV or driving during wake time hours? Is it difficult to concentrate or remember things? Do I wake with a dry mouth or sore throat?
It matters because it not only negatively affects your daytime performance, but also can lead to serious health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain. With treatment, you can control the symptoms and get your sleep back on track! Learn your options by consulting dentistry expert Dr. Files, assisting sleep apnea sufferers in Redmond WA and area.