Uninterrupted, restful sleep is essential for your mind and body. It enables you to start each day feeling refreshed and ready to make the most out of life.
For many people, that sleepy abyss is interrupted by snoring. It has long been an annoyance, especially for those around you. However, today we know that snoring can be a sign of a more serious problem — sleep apnea — which can put your health at risk.
What is Snoring?
We are all familiar with the sound of snoring, but do you know what causes it? Soft tissues in the throat and the back of the mouth, including the tongue, uvula, tonsils, or even fat deposits, can block the airway during sleep. If the airway is partially obstructed, those tissues vibrate, and cause the sound we know as snoring.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Sometimes the obstruction is not partial. On occasion it completely blocks the airway, and momentarily prevents the sleeper from breathing. The body’s natural response to decreasing oxygen awakens the person enough that breathing resumes, often accompanied by snoring and possibly gasping. Because these episodes, which are called apneic events, happen during sleep, the person is often unaware of them.
Apneic events can happen as often as 50 times every hour during sleep. The cumulative effect of repetitive oxygen deprivation, along with the physiological reactions that it causes, can contribute to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, high blood pressure, and daytime sleepiness. Apnea has even been linked to traffic accidents due to fatigue and reduced alertness.
Solutions for Snoring and Apnea
Obesity is a risk factor in apnea, particularly for people who tend to carry extra weight around their necks. Diet, exercise, and weight maintenance can help reduce the effects of apnea.
The most common medical treatment is CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy. It is highly effective, because it uses air pressure to prevent the collapse of the airway. However, a large number of people find this method uncomfortable or even intolerable.
Many apnea patients can benefit from oral appliance therapy, which is comfortable and convenient. After a comprehensive evaluation, Dr. Burman designs a custom-made appliance that is similar to a sports mouthguard or orthodontic retainer.
You simply wear the device while you are sleeping, and it positions the tongue and jaw to prevent the collapse of the airway. In rare cases, surgical treatment may be needed to relieve apnea. Possible surgical procedures include those designed to remove excess tissue, or realign the jaw.
We would love to help you enjoy a good night’s sleep, every night! If you have concerns about snoring or sleep apnea, please call our office at 561-404-4325 and schedule a consultation to learn more. We proudly serve Jupiter, FL, and nearby communities in Palm Beach County including Palm Beach Gardens, Juno Beach, and Tequesta.
Sleep Apnea Jupiter - How does sleep apnea impact overall health?
Types of Sleep Apnea in Jupiter - What types of treatment are available for sleep apnea in Jupiter?