When to See a Doctor about Snoring
- Posted on: Jun 15 2018
Snoring is a habit that has historically been portrayed as a nuisance. It’s true that even occasional snoring can be an irritating event. However, we want to turn our attention to the concern that surrounds chronic nightly snoring. If you snore on a nightly basis to a point where you wake yourself up or disrupt those who sleep in proximity to you, you may recognize the fact that there is a problem. The question is, what really is that problem, and how bad might it be?
In many cases, snoring is an indicator of something gone wrong in the airway when the body tries to sleep. The problem that we are referring to is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that involve snoring and something more. The danger in OSA is that snoring occurs as the airway narrows under pressure. In addition to snoring, OSA also involves breathing cessation. Under the weight of relaxed muscles, the airway closes and breathing stops. Because there are several secondary issues that arise from obstructive sleep apnea, it is important to recognize the signs that you need to see a doctor (or dentist!) about your snoring problem.
The Snooze-Button is Your BFF
We may all have a difficult time waking up enthusiastically each day. However, if your morning grogginess extends well beyond your daily cup of coffee, your body is cluing you in to a sleep problem. People with obstructive sleep apnea are roused up to dozens of times a night. The frequency of apneic episodes prevents deep sleep, which can lead to what we call “microsleep” during hours you should naturally feel awake and alert. Are you troubled by chronic sleepiness? Do you fall asleep every night when you sit down after dinner, or even at stoplights? Contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss obstructive sleep apnea.
Morning Headaches Drag You Down
As if it weren’t frustrating enough to wake up feeling like you need several more hours of rest, obstructive sleep apnea is also likely to offer up a daily dose of morning head pain. The common side effect of morning headaches may be associated with the general lack of deep sleep that coincides with OSA. Studies also suggest that morning headaches may result from the ongoing oxygen depletion that the brain experiences during apneic episodes.
Blood Pressure Reaches New Heights
Blood pressure is something we want to maintain within a healthy range. High blood pressure that can affect long-term cardiovascular health can result from chronic obstructive sleep apnea as a natural response to breathing cessation. Every time the brain is deprived of oxygen, a fight or flight reaction occurs. Adrenaline is released to stimulate respiration. On one hand, this is efficient. On another hand, this reaction in the brain and body also causes blood vessels to constrict, raising blood pressure.
Treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is necessary for future health and wellness. We are pleased to offer comfortable oral appliances for patients diagnosed with this condition. To learn more, call our Golden, CO office at (303) 277-9600.
Posted in: Sleep Apnea