Is Your Snore a Warning of Something More?
Every day it’s the same: You wake up with a dry, scratchy throat, a headache, and by 10:00 am, you’re already tired. You’re getting a good seven or eight hours of shut-eye (or at least you think you are), so why are you constantly exhausted? These, combined with snoring, are warning signs of a potentially dangerous condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. I take sleep apnea VERY seriously and think you should, too. So is your snore just a snore or a sign of something more alarming? Click here to take our sleep quiz & to learn more.
What Exactly IS Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when the airway is obstructed during sleep. Not only does this result in snoring, it actually prevents breathing for several consecutive seconds, multiple times each night. This lack of oxygen takes its toll on the body, leading to conditions that are far more serious than snoring, including:
- An increased risk of diabetes
- An increased risk of heart disease and heart attack
- An increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke
- An increased risk of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety
- An increased risk of accidents on the road, at work, and at home
Do You Have OSA?
The first warning sign is usually snoring. Other risk factors include being overweight, having a large neck circumference, and having a family history of sleep apnea. Men are more likely to have OSA than women, as are those who are asthmatic or have chronic nasal congestion. In addition to snoring, you may have OSA if you:
- Wake up gasping for air
- Wake up with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Wake up with a headache
- Have difficulty concentrating during the day
- Experience excessive sleepiness during the day
To know if you should talk to your doctor about a sleep study, take my simple online Sleep Quiz. If the results indicate that you should be concerned, we can schedule an appointment where we will determine the best course of treatment for your particular case. Whether you need stretching exercises to relieve jaw tension or a customized oral appliance, I will find a solution that will allow you to stop snoring, get the rest you need and deserve, and keep you happy and healthy. If you’re ready to confront your sleep apnea, contact my office today.