Imagine that you are finally getting into bed after a long day. You tell your partner good night, eagerly awaiting a restful night’s sleep, then right as you are about to drift asleep – loud snoring comes from the other side of the bed that is sure to damper your plans of a restful night of sleep. If this loud snoring is a common occurrence from your partner, they may be suffering from sleep apnea. Most people occasionally snore due to nasal congestion, sickness, or other factors, but for many, the loud, chronic snoring is part of a larger problem, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Why do I snore?
So, how and why does snoring occur in the first place? When a blockage or narrowing in your airway (nose, mouth, or throat) disturbs the flow of air from the nose or mouth to the lungs during sleep, snoring ensues. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite efforts to breathe.
Anything that narrows your breathing passages can cause snoring, including:
- Large tonsils
- An enlarged uvula (the tissue that hangs from the middle of the back of your throat)
- A deviated septum
- Nasal congestion
- Excess weight
- Drinking Alcohol
When is snoring a sign of something more serious?
It is important to note that not all people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea- but most people with OSA snore. For those suffering from OSA: snoring is loud in volume; the frequency changes; it often disturbs your sleep; breathing can stop at times; the oxygen levels in your blood go down. Snoring without OSA does not disturb your sleep; the rhythm is steady; the volume is lower. Snoring is not the only unfortunate signs and symptoms of OSA. The most common signs include:
- Chronic or loud snoring
- Dry Mouth
- Morning headache
- Difficulty concentrating while awake
- Learning and memory difficulties
These obstructive sleep apnea symptoms can make it very difficult to get through daily tasks such as work, keeping up with the kids, and just enjoying life to the fullest. Sleep apnea can also lead to more serious problems: high blood pressure, heart issues, depression, and diabetes.
Remedies & Treatments
Fortunately, there is hope in sight for those suffering from sleep apnea and their partners that desperately need a good night’s sleep! Changing a few habits may be all you need to improve or eliminate snoring:
- Nasal strips if you are congested.
- Quitting smoking to become less congested.
- Losing weight if you are overweight.
- Exercising regularly not only helps you stay in shape but to tone your muscles and strengthen your lungs.
- Avoiding alcohol, which can relax or close your throat muscles.
- Use over-the-counter medications to relieve congestion associated with allergies.
- Sleeping on your side to prevent your tongue from relaxing into your airway.
- Propping yourself up with pillows if you sleep on your back.
Pair these changes with treatment options provided by an ENT Specialist or Sleep Apnea Doctor if symptoms persist. Camellia ENT offers Inspire Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator to treat moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, which is the only FDA approved obstructive sleep apnea treatment that works inside your body to treat the root cause of sleep apnea with just the click of a button.
If you are ready for a truly restful night of sleep and are prepared for obstructive sleep apnea to stop impacting your overall quality of life, Camellia ENT would love to sit down with you and discuss your options. Contact Camellia ENT today.