If you or family member has a bad snoring habit, your first thought may be to move to another room or put on some background noise to distract you. However, loud snoring is actually a potential symptoms for a more serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. This condition is not something that should be ignored, as it can easily affect many aspects if your daily life if left untreated. Thankfully, Dr. Arakelian has the expertise to diagnose your issue and get you on the right path towards proper treatment.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common condition that affects millions of Americans every year. Unfortunately, it often goes untreated because of how difficult it can be to diagnose. Essentially, OSA occurs when certain oral structures prevent proper breathing while sleeping. This may include the tongue, soft or hard palate, or tonsils. Regardless of what is blocking the airway, it forces patients to wake up constantly, gasping for air. The good news is this is part of the body’s natural reflex to prevent suffocation while sleeping. However, it also prevents you from getting a full night’s sleep, especially REM sleep, which is crucial to feeling well-rested.
Keep in mind that OSA does not only carry short-term side effects. It also increases your risk for many other systemic conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, depression and even behavioral problems if it develops in children.
While patients who have sleep apnea tend to also snore quite loudly, this symptom does not necessarily guarantee that you have sleep apnea. This is why it’s so important to take note of other symptoms and get seen by a dentist who can help. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you’ll want to make a visit to our office. They include:
Some patients are at higher risk of developing sleep apnea than others, including those with these characteristics: