Snoring can disrupt your sleep when it’s so loud that you actually wake yourself up. This issue may be a sign of sleep apnea, a potentially serious condition that not only affects your quality of life but also poses significant health risks.
In sleep apnea, the patient stops breathing repeatedly during sleep when the airway’s opening is obstructed. As a result, the patient snores loudly due to the narrowing of the airway and the subsequent vibrating of the tissues, which creates a noise.
Other symptoms of sleep apnea include frequent sore throats or headaches when first waking up and daytime drowsiness. People who are obese or have large necks also seem to have an increased risk of sleep apnea. If you experience any of these issues, you should be evaluated for sleep apnea by completing a sleep study.
After you have a confirmed obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis, you can consult with an oral surgeon to determine the most appropriate treatment plan to eliminate your symptoms and restore your restful sleep.
While surgery, such as removal of excess soft tissue near the airway opening, may help to address the conditions that contribute to the sleep apnea, your treatment may not necessarily be an invasive one. For example, many patients respond well to oral appliances worn during sleep that reposition the tongue or the jaw to prevent the airway obstruction. The oral surgeon may recommend this approach initially and then move to surgery if you do not get symptom relief from the oral appliance.
Sleep apnea appears to have an association with serious health risks, such as heart disease and strokes. It may even increase the patient’s risk of sudden death. As such, the motivation for getting effective sleep apnea treatment is quite compelling.
Loud, persistent snoring can indicate sleep apnea, and this condition can be detrimental to your health and well-being if you don’t seek treatment. If you have an obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis, schedule a consultation at our office to explore your treatment options.