Do you Snore? Or is it Sleep Apnea
When the jaw opens and the tongue falls into the back of the throat, the airway narrows forcing air through the smaller opening. The same volume of air must get to the lungs so the air speed is increased. The velocity of the air causes the back of the throat to vibrate. These vibrations in in the throat is known as snoring.
Snoring is a major red flag in sleep apnea patients. Sleep Apnea is a common condition in the United States. It can occur when the upper airway becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep, reducing or completely stopping airflow. This is known as obstructive sleep apnea.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
There are many risk factors for sleep apnea. Controllable risk factors, such as unhealthy lifestyle habits and environments, can be changed. Other risk factors, such as age, family history and genetics, race and ethnicity, and sex, cannot be changed. Heathy lifestyle changes can decrease your risk for developing sleep apnea.
Signs you may have Sleep Apnea:
- Snoring with pauses in breathing (apnea)
- Excessive daytime drowsiness
- Gasping or choking during sleep
- High blood pressure
- Nighttime chest pain
- Restless sleep
- Problem with mental function
- Poor judgment/can’t focus
- Large neck (>17″ around in men, >16″ around in women)
- Memory loss
- Quick to anger
- Morning headaches
- Reduced libido
- Frequent trips to the bathroom at night
- Airway crowding
Some of the major dangers of sleep apnea are chronic sleepiness, strokes, heart attacks, heartburn, morning headaches, depression, drowsy driving, high blood pressure, stroke and impotence.
Your answers to this quiz will help you decide whether you may suffer from sleep apnea:
- Are you a loud and/or regular snorer?
- Have you ever been observed to gasp or stop breathing during sleep?
- Do you feel tired or groggy upon awakening, or do you awaken with a headache?
- Are you often tired or fatigued during the wake time hours?
- Do you fall asleep sitting, reading, watching TV, or driving?
- Do you often have problems with memory or concentration?
If you have one or more of these symptoms you are at higher risk for having obstructive sleep apnea.
Even if you don’t have sleep apnea, tacking your snoring problem will be very beneficial to your sleep partner. It can also affect your own sleep quality and health.
Dr. Nugent can help with both snoring and sleep apnea by making a custom mouth guard. This dental device is worn at night and pulls the lower jaw downward and forward opening up the airway.
Call our Pasadena, Texas dental office today at 713-941-8261 today or come visit us at 3421 Burke Rd Ste A, Pasadena, Texas 77504.