Snoring can affect a patient’s ability to sleep restfully and even those within hearing distance—especially if snoring is loud and impairing a patient’s ability to breathe properly during rest. Furthermore, snoring is sometimes an indication of a more serious sleep condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). While snoring doesn’t always accompany this disorder, patient education and seeking proper medical diagnosis is paramount to discovering the underlying causes of excessive or obstructive snoring and whether that symptom is related to sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea involves the cessation of breath throughout a patient’s sleeping cycle. Caused by soft oral tissues obstructing air passageways during sleep, sleep apnea substantially affects a patient’s ability to sleep restfully and naturally progress through various sleep cycles. When airways are blocked and patients stop breathing, the body wakes slightly to reinitiate proper breathing. Beyond affecting sleep, this cycle of breathing cessation and wakefulness impacts circulation, heart rate, and brain function. In fact, research shows a link between systemic health conditions including heart disease and stroke and obstructive sleep apnea.
Along with snoring, patients with sleep apnea may exhibit other symptoms including:
- Cognitive impairment, including memory loss
- Dry mouth and thirst upon waking
- Frequent morning headaches
- Malaise and fatigue
To properly diagnose obstructive snoring or OSA, a patient should undergo a sleep study and medical evaluation with an oral surgeon or sleep specialist. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon. At your appointment, your doctor will examine how the anatomy of your jawbone, mouth, and head may relate to sleep apnea and excessive snoring. After a thorough evaluation of your health and the results of your sleep study, your oral surgeon can better determine the root cause of your condition.
To learn more about the variety of treatments and procedures available to treat excessive snoring and sleep apnea, call our office at 817-552-3223 today to schedule an appointment.