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Sleep Apnea & Snoring

 

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If you or your partner snores, it may be necessary to investigate sleep apnea. Contact us today for a consultation.

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Information about Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring that is important to your health or the health of someone you care about

About Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the tongue and soft palate relax into the airway during sleep and prevent your breath from flowing freely. When the airway is sufficiently blocked, our body’s built in survival instinct is triggered and we awaken sufficiently to restart breathing. As we fall back into sleep, we again relax, OSA re-occurs, we reawaken and the cycle continues throughout the night.

The waking episodes can happen a few times a night (mild apnea) to many times an hour and can last for seconds or several minutes while the body struggles to breathe. The resulting disruption to sleep can produce any number of effects on the body from a simple headache and sleepiness to more severe health issues, such as a link to heart disease and depression.

The Need For Sleep

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the tongue and soft palate relax into the airway during sleep and prevent your breath from flowing freely. When the airway is sufficiently blocked, our body’s built in survival instinct is triggered and we awaken sufficiently to restart breathing. As we fall back into sleep, we again relax, OSA re-occurs, we reawaken and the cycle continues throughout the night.

The waking episodes can happen a few times a night (mild apnea) to many times an hour and can last for seconds or several minutes while the body struggles to breathe. The resulting disruption to sleep can produce any number of effects on the body from a simple headache and sleepiness to more severe health issues, such as a link to heart disease and depression.

Snoring

67% of adults snore, and while snoring may not seem to be the same health problem as OSA, it can be an indicator of sleep apnea. In addition, the noise of snoring can actually cause the sleeper and (more often) others to wake during the night. The resulting lack of sleep produces the same results no matter the cause.

Normal Breathing

In normal breathing the airway is clear and breath flows easily through the throat.

OSA Present

When obstructive sleep apnea is present, the tongue and soft palate relax into the airway and interrupt breathing.

Narrow

In snoring, the tongue and soft palate relax sufficiently into the airway that it is substantially narrowed. As a result, air is forced through a smaller space and causes vibration of the surrounding tissue. The resulting noise can disrupt the sleep of both the sufferer and their sleep partners.