When is Snoring a Problem?
Many people snore, which can be a nuisance to others nearby. However, snoring can also be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, which carries serious health risks. When the following symptoms accompany snoring, you should seek a diagnosis to find out if you have OSA.
The breathing interruptions associated with OSA may cause patients to awaken partially or completely. In many cases, patients awaken completely only a few times out of several apnea episodes. Patients may also mistakenly think that they were awoken by something else, such as a noise or the need to use the restroom.
A halt in breathing over and over at night can add up to serious oxygen depletion, which can cause noticeable breathlessness the next day. Patients may find themselves breathing heavily during low-intensity activities, even if they exercise regularly.
While normal sleep goes through several stages during the night, OSA interrupts this progression repeatedly, causing patients to stay in the lighter sleep stages. This is why OSA patients can be so fatigued despite apparently getting plenty of sleep. Patients may be too exhausted to function normally during the day, and the fatigue can add up over time.
OSA can be a very dangerous condition. Not only does OSA raise risks of deadly accidents, but it also makes heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death higher risks. Importantly, not all patients with OSA snore. Patients who suspect that they may have OSA can schedule a consultation with our dentist to get diagnosed and discuss modern dental treatments for the condition.
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