Sleep Apnea And Snoring
Snoring is a problem for millions of people around the world. The snorer usually suffers less than other people sleeping in the same room, but sometimes they might snore so loudly that they wake themselves up! However, the noise of snoring is simply an annoyance and not a medical problem. There may be far more serious issues involved with your snoring.
Snoring is caused by air being blocked from moving down the airway while sleeping. This is because respiratory structures block the airway and vibrate as air tries to pass through during breathing. Although it may seem that this is not a serious problem, no more than the annoyance caused by the sound it can cause you to get poor sleep and could indicate a breathing disorder such as sleep apnea.
The connection between sleep apnea and snoring is that in sleep apnea the airway becomes completely blocked in the same way that snoring is caused by partial blockage. Those who suffer from sleep apnea also have issues with snoring.
Chances are greater that you will be aware of the fact that you snore than you would be of the fact that you had sleep apnea, if indeed you did. This is because missing breaths is not something others can often notice or be awoken by like snoring is. Still, it is possible for someone to observe a sleeper with sleep apnea missing breaths.
Because sleep apnea and snoring often go hand in hand it is a good idea to pay attention to how you are feeling if you know that you snore. Do you wake not feeling well rested? Do you sleep restlessly? Do you feel sleepy during the day? It may be that you are not only snoring, but that you also have a breathing disorder such as sleep apnea.
If this is the case for you, you should go to your doctor to get a diagnosis. She can rule out any other potential causes of lack of sleep and determine if you should see a sleep specialist and/or have a sleep test, known as a polysomnogram, done on you.
After you take a sleep test the doctor determine what is the best course of action for solving your sleep issues. These might include lifestyle changes such as losing weight and avoiding alcohol, smoking and muscle relaxants, as well as possibly the use of a CPAP machine to keep your airways open during the night.
Sleep apnea and snoring can both have a negative long term affect besides even the sleepiness and fatigue you may feel. There is an increased risk for stroke with both of them and you might also have a great chance of developing a heart condition or even having a heart attack, so it is important to get treating it right away.
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