Questions You Should Ask About Sleep Apnea

Snoring loudly and constantly is one of the most consistent signs of having obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. However, no matter how loud it is, the snoring associated with sleep apnea isn’t always enough to wake the person who’s experiencing it. When you have sleep apnea, it means your airway is continuously obstructed by mouth and throat tissues when you sleep, to the point that the obstruction forces you to stop breathing repeatedly. Today, we look a few things you should know about sleep apneas, including how to tell if your snoring habit is a just a habit, or a symptom of the sleep disorder.

Is my snoring habit a sign of sleep apnea?

If you know that you snore consistently, then one of your first questions should be whether or not it’s a sign of sleep apnea. The extent and severity of your snoring may offer a clue. When you have sleep apnea, snoring is the result of the obstruction in your airway growing more substantial. As it does, your airway grows tighter and the breath passing through it has to do so at a greater air pressure, causing the walls of your throat to vibrate loudly. The sound grows louder the more obstructed your airway becomes, then stops once your airway is completely blocked and you’re unable to breathe. After a few moments, when your body wakes enough to clear the obstruction, you’ll start breathing again and the pattern will repeat itself continuously throughout the night.

What other symptoms could warn me of the disorder?

The distinct pattern of snoring associated with sleep apnea can be a clue that it’s a sign of the disorder. Unfortunately, you won’t be aware of your snoring habit or the pattern it follows, or even of the moments when your body has to wake up and clear your airway. Because of this, many people learn they have sleep apnea through another of its dominant symptoms, which often include signs of sleep deprivation. For example, if you grow tired faster every day, feel a general loss of energy overall, have trouble concentrating, and more, then these may be signs that you’re losing precious sleep to sleep apnea.

Will I need to wear a CPAP machine I have it?

For many patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, the recommended solution is often to wear a mask that’s connected to a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine while they sleep. The gentle stream of air the machine generates can help prevent the obstruction of your airway and allow you to breathe uninterrupted throughout the night. However, many patients find a custom-designed sleep appliance a more comfortable and convenient solution, as it relies on customized support rather than a machine to prevent airway obstruction.

Learn more about having and treating sleep apnea

Having sleep apnea can become a serious impediment to your sleep quality, which is why it’s important to know all you can about dealing with and treating it if you exhibit signs of the disorder. To learn more, call our Cleveland Family Dentistry office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234. We also serve the residents of Kingwood, Conroe, Livingston, and all surrounding communities.