Snoring can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues of your mouth and throat collapse into your airway. This causes a blockage and can prevent you from breathing momentarily; it can cause a lack of oxygen to reach your bloodstream. If you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, it can be affecting your overall health and you may not even know it. Because sleep apnea can sound similar to snoring, you may choose to go on ignoring it. Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to an increased risk for a wide range of health issues, so it should not be ignored.
Am I Snoring or Is It OSA?
Being overweight, having seasonal allergies or other sinus problems, or even drinking alcohol can all lead to someone snoring. Simple snoring can partially block the airway, which is what causes the sound that probably annoys your partner or family. However, obstructive sleep apnea can cause complete blockages to your airway, which is why OSA is marked by large gasps for air. To determine if your snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, you can take part in a sleep study at home.
Increased Health Risks Caused by OSA
Undergoing the nightly stress of multiple bouts of suffocation during sleep, your body can become negatively affected. Your heart may begin regulating your blood pressure differently if it becomes accustomed to the low amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. This abnormal regulation can lead to high blood pressure, which can increase your chances of stroke and developing heart disease. Sleep apnea can increase your risk for developing diabetes and other health issues. Because sleep apnea can decrease the amount of restful sleep you get, it can cause mood swings, weight gain, and drowsiness. Treating sleep apnea can help to lower these health risks.
There Are Options to Deal With Sleep Apnea
Treating sleep apnea can improve your overall health. To learn more, schedule a consultation with your dentist by calling E-Care Dentistry, PA in Olathe, KS, today at 913-210-1701. We also proudly serve patients from Overland Park, Lenexa, Leawood, Gardner, and all surrounding communities.