Many patients who snore also have a condition called sleep apnea. This sleep-breathing disorder is defined as the cessation of breathing during sleep for at least 10 seconds at a time, five times an hour. That’s nearly a minute per hour or a 15% reduction in oxygen intake throughout the night! While we may think of snoring as merely a nuisance, sleep apnea and its side effects can have a serious impact on your overall health.
Sleep apnea has been linked to:
- Muscle pain
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Loss of short-term memory
- Gastric reflux
- Intellectual deterioration
- Memory and concentration impairment
- Heart attack
- Inefficient metabolism
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Severe anxiety
- Mood swings
What causes sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea results when the airway collapses, causing the soft-tissues to vibrate (snoring). At times, the soft-tissues completely block the airway, causing suffocation and even asphyxiation. It’s a medical disorder that can diminish the quality and longevity of life.
To have a better understanding of sleep apnea, take a coffee stir straw and try to breath out of it while plugging your nose. The straw represents how much air passes through the airway while sleeping.
When your body doesn’t receive enough air, you will awaken just enough to breathe. The lack of deep, REM sleep causes stress to the body and organs, as well as daytime drowsiness. People with sleep apnea are also more likely to be involved in serious car accidents.
What’s the solution?
Dr. Parmar and his team will work in conjunction with your sleep physician to help manage your snoring and sleep apnea problems. A team effort has proven to be most effective when a patient is searching for a CPAP alternative. Many who are CPAP intolerant or just refuse to use CPAP will find relief with an oral appliance. In fact, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances to manage mild to moderate snoring and sleep apnea, especially for patients who are CPAP intolerant.