Is it Just Snoring – or is it Sleep Apnea?

Besides keeping other people awake, there is an another important reason why you should investigate your snoring problem. Do you put in the hours of sleep at night, but in the morning not reap the reward of feeling well-rested?  It could be related to your snoring.

 A Snore is Just a Snore – or Is It?Do you put in the hours of sleep at night, but feel exhausted in the morning? It could be related to your snoring. Find out when a snore is something more here.

An estimated 30% to 50% Americans snore at one time or another. Some snore so loudly they can be heard several rooms away. If others in your home are being kept up by your snoring, try a few suggestions:

  • Lose weight
  • Sleep in a different position
  • Avoid heavy meals and caffeine up to two hours before bed
  • Avoid sedatives

Often, applying one or more of these tips is enough to keep snoring at a minimum.

However, there are times when snoring is more than just a bothersome social issue, or the reason you get the morning groggies.  It may be affecting your overall health.

When a Snore is Something More

An estimated 18 million Americans don’t just snore; they have what is called obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat don’t keep the airways open. This sleeping disorder may be the cause of your snoring and many other seemingly unrelated  health issues. Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Depression.
  • Irritability.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Low oxygen levels.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Learning and memory difficulties.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart problems.

Clearly, the symptoms of sleep apnea can be quite serious. The sufferer will stop breathing as many as 500 times in a night in severe cases. The body wakes up just enough to restart breathing. It is no wonder why apnea patients complain of fatigue!

If you are snoring at night and have some of the above symptoms, it’s time to get checked out.

Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Apnea

If your doctor suspects you have sleep apnea, he may refer you to a sleep clinic. The clinic will monitor your sleep patterns overnight, including how many times you stop breathing, and for how long.

Many of the suggestions for treating sleep apnea are the same as for snoring. Losing weight – even just ten pounds – may allow you to see great improvement in your sleep apnea. Other suggestions such as avoiding alcohol, changing sleep positions, and avoiding sedatives may be enough to put your sleep apnea to bed for good.

If these practical suggestions don’t work, however, your doctor may ask you to use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device (or CPAP). The CPAP is a breathing aid which features a facial or nasal mask.  The mask administers gently pressurized air while the patient sleeps.  This type of treatment is common for sleep apnea patients and is often very effective.

If you are plagued by constant fatigue and want to do something about it, drop us a line today. Helping people get their health back on track is our passion! Your free ten-minute consultation is the first step down the path to a healthier, more energetic life!

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