There is nothing flattering or sexy about snoring.
WASHINGTON, DC, June 20, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- There is nothing flattering or sexy about snoring. In serious cases, the noise emitted from snorers can keep their bed partners awake all night, forcing them to endure the daytime fatigue that regularly follows a night of sleep deprivation.
Snoring is very common. According to several recent sleep studies, about 45% of Americans snore at least occasionally and 25% of the population snores habitually. Unfortunately, snoring is much more than just an embarrassing nuisance. It may be a sign that you suffer from a serious health condition called sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition marked by brief interruptions in breathing while you sleep. The most common cause of sleep apnea is a blocked airway due to a collapsing of the soft tissue in your throat. This airway blockage can cause your soft palate and uvula to vibrate while you breathe. Others nearby will hear these vibrations as snoring.
There are several other factors which may also contribute to your snoring:
- Use of sedatives at night
- Heavy alcohol consumption
Dangers Associated with Snoring
It is important to visit your dentist for a sleep apnea evaluation if you snore regularly. If left untreated, your sleep apnea may increase your risk of developing serious health conditions such as:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
Furthermore, your snoring may be a serious problem for your bed partner. According to a Mayo Clinic study, bed partners of people who snore lose about an hour of sleep every night. The cumulative effect of this sleep disruption can lead to chronic daytime fatigue impacting many areas of your bed partner's life. Most importantly, this fatigue has been found to negatively impact your motor skills in a similar manner to alcohol. For people who drive a car every day, this can be a scary thought.
Treatments for Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Believe it or not, the best person to treat your snoring and sleep apnea is your dentist. There are several effective treatments which can open up your airway while you sleep to eliminate snoring and correct issues associated with sleep apnea. But the first step in your treatment is a proper diagnosis of your condition, which often requires participation in a sleep study.
For mild cases of sleep apnea, you may be able to alleviate the condition by making certain minor lifestyle alterations. These may include:
- Adjusting sleeping positions so that you sleep on your side instead of your back
- Altering your diet
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Elevating your head with extra pillows
However, more severe cases of snoring and sleep apnea may require more aggressive treatment. Fortunately, most common sleep apnea treatments are minimally invasive and non-surgical.
The most common treatments for snoring and sleep apnea are:
- Oral appliance therapy - Custom-fit devices to be worn at night that prevent airway obstruction and allow you to breathe easily while you sleep
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) - A device which delivers air pressure through a mask while you sleep, preventing your throat from collapsing and obstructing your airway
After a thorough sleep apnea evaluation, your dentist will recommend the ideal treatment option to deliver the results you need.
To learn more about the dangers of snoring and sleep apnea, please visit the website of Softouch Dental Care at www.softouchdentalcare.com, serving patients in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
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