15 Feb Do I have sleep apnea if I snore?
Sleep apnea occurs when a patient stops breathing repeatedly while he or she is asleep because the soft tissues at the back of the throat go slack and block the airway opening. Patients are typically unaware of this issue, although they may recognize some symptoms such as daytime drowsiness and frequent sore throats or headaches in the morning.
If you have any of those symptoms or if a sleeping partner has alerted you to a loud snoring habit, you should undergo a sleep study to confirm the sleep apnea diagnosis.
After you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, you can consult with an oral surgeon to discuss your treatment options. The surgeon will evaluate your case and make recommendations that will address your specific problem.
The gold standard of sleep apnea treatment is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask, which forces air into the patient’s airway to keep it open throughout the night. Unfortunately, many patients find the mask to be too uncomfortable to wear consistently.
If you haven’t tolerated a CPAP mask, the oral surgeon may suggest other interventions, such as removing excess soft tissue at the back of the throat or opening narrow nasal passages, depending on the nature of your specific case.
The health benefits of effective sleep apnea treatment are tremendous. Not only do patients experience an improvement in their quality of life, they also may reduce their risk of issues like stroke, heart attack and sudden death, all of which have some correlation with sleep apnea.
People who snore may have sleep apnea. If you have this problem, complete a sleep study to confirm that sleep apnea is causing the problem. Call any of our convenient office locations and schedule an appointment to discuss your treatment options.