Could your snoring be obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS)?
Sleep apnea is a serious problem too many patients ignore. Either they don’t realize they have it, or they don’t understand the potential consequences. But it is much more than a snoring problem, and the risks are more serious than just losing sleep.
At Grand Lake Dental, Dr. Karl Jobst understands sleep apnea is much more than snoring. Fortunately, he also knows a variety of ways to fix it. After a comprehensive evaluation, he will discuss with you which treatment option is best based on your unique symptoms, anatomy, and needs.
Why should you worry about sleep apnea?
While many people who snore believe they have a snoring problem, the truth can be much scarier. Rather than a diagnosis, snoring can be a symptom of something much worse—obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).
Snoring is caused by an airway that is not completely open. Most often, the throat muscles relax too much, which affects the tongue, uvula, soft palate, tonsils, and adenoids. The result is a closing or narrowing of your airway that causes the too-familiar sound. With sleep apnea, the closing and narrowing cause you to stop breathing.
When your brain goes without oxygen, it wakes you up and sends signals to your body to move to reopen the airway. Patients often go 10-90 seconds without breathing during sleep apnea, and this occurs anywhere from 5-30 times an hour.
Even when patients don’t realize they continuously stop breathing during the night, it affects their body. Some patients understand the snoring keeps them from getting a good night’s sleep, but sleep apnea is much more dangerous than that.
Patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea are susceptible to alarming decreases in oxygen. The chronic state of low oxygen strains the cardiovascular system. This puts patients at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, and sudden death.
In addition, the lack of restful sleep can cause daytime fatigue, increased mistakes and accidents, irritability, headaches, attention problems, difficulty concentrating, and vision complications. And these risks are not isolated to just you if you keep a bedmate up with your snoring.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
As a dentist, Dr. Jobst knows about teeth and gums—but he also understands the intricacies of the entire jaw and mouth, including the airway.
Even if your snoring is not sleep apnea, his treatment options can help you and your partner achieve adequate restful sleep.