If you snore or if the person sleeping one pillow over snores, then neither of you may be getting a restful and rejuvenating night of sleep. But you probably already know that. What you may not know is that snoring can be more than just a noisy nuisance. In some cases, snoring is a sign of a much more serious condition called sleep apnea. However, you cannot simply listen to a snorer and know the difference. A proper diagnosis is required. Dr. Anderson and his team at Anderson Family Dental in Colorado Springs diagnose and treat sleep apnea, so you and your partner can sleep well.
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, some 90 million Americans snore during sleep. Estimates are that about half of those people are primary snorers, while the other half have sleep apnea. And while sleep apnea is almost always marked by snoring, snoring does not necessarily mean you have sleep apnea.
Simple snoring happens when tissue in your throat relaxes enough during sleep that your airway is partially blocked. As air passes, the tissue vibrates and creates sound. Alcohol consumption and body weight are usually contributing factors to snoring.
On the other hand, snoring is only a symptom of sleep apnea, which is a chronic condition characterized by the cessation of breathing during sleep for a few seconds or even up to a minute. Other than snoring, the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea may include:
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Morning headaches
- Needing to urinate frequently during the night
- A sore throat or dry mouth in the morning
The consequences of sleep apnea go well beyond interrupting sleep to include threats to your overall health. Some of the conditions that are linked to sleep apnea include hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, heart disease, diabetes, depression, impotence, certain cancers and even sudden death. And because of daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea has been found to be a leading cause of car accidents.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Colorado Springs Rely On
To treat sleep apnea and help patients get a good night’s sleep, Dr. Anderson offers CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy or oral appliance therapy. For sleep apnea therapy with CPAP, a machine forces air into your throat through a nose and mouth mask. Air pressure keeps your airway open. However, some people find CPAP intolerable. In Colorado Springs, CPAP alternatives include oral appliance therapy. Dr. Anderson will prescribe an oral appliance to slightly shift your lower jaw and tongue forward to keep your airway open while you sleep.
Call Our Office Today
To find out if your snoring is simply snoring or a sign of sleep apnea, contact Anderson Family Dental to schedule an appointment with Dr. Anderson. We welcome patients from Colorado Springs, CO, Falcon, Fort Carson, Black Forest, Stratmoor, and the neighboring areas.