Snoring happens when air is unable to flow freely through the back of the mouth and nose. When the airway collapses during sleep, the tongue and upper throat collide with the soft palate and uvula, resulting in vibrations and snoring noises.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious medical condition that is characterized by breathing pauses during sleep. Sufferers can experience 30 to 300 events a night that last for at least ten seconds each. It is very common among people who are overweight, have high blood pressure and have a strong family history of the condition. In addition, men, smokers and individuals with asthma are at an increased risk for OSA.
If you discover that you snore regularly, it is important to make an appointment with an ENT to determine if obstructive sleep apnea is the underlying cause of your problem. During your visit, your doctor will examine your nose, mouth, throat and neck with a scope to look for signs of the condition. If OSA is suspected, a sleep study at home or in a laboratory may be recommended.
The symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
Lifestyle changes are often recommended as the first treatment approach for obstructive sleep apnea. They include losing weight, exercising more, minimizing alcohol intake, quitting smoking and using a nasal decongestant and allergy medication.
If lifestyle modifications are not sufficient, the most common medical treatment approach is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine keeps the airways open to prevent OSA episodes and snoring.
One recent development for treatment of sleep apnea is Inspire therapy - an FDA approved medical device that treats sleep apnea, while being much less bulky than CPAP. Find out more about our Inspire therapy here.Inspire therapy »
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical problem, but it is treatable. Contact SFENTA today for help getting your condition under control.
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