Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition that occurs when the body is deprived of oxygen for periods of time while an individual sleeps. This decrease and occasional lack of oxygen to the heart and brain during sleep can make the heart work harder and may contribute to early heart failure, daytime fatigue, mental fogginess and many other health conditions and symptoms.
One of the most common symptoms and indications that sleep apnea may be occurring is the presence of snoring.
Snoring occurs when the soft tissues of the throat and upper airways vibrate during sleep. Frequent snoring is extremely common, occurring in 44% of males and 28% of females between 30 and 60 years of age. Occasional snoring occurs in practically everyone.
Unfortunately, though, routine, loud snoring often indicates obstruction or resistance in the upper airways as seen with OSA. Snoring and OSA are frequently associated with conditions that narrow the upper airway, including obesity, chronic sinus and nasal congestion, structural abnormalities of the face, acromegaly, hypothyroidism and enlarged tonsils. In these situations, the treatment of snoring is directed at the condition causing the obstruction. Snoring can also occur in the absence of any condition known to increase upper airway resistance.
In addition to lifestyle modifications, other therapies can reduce snoring and other symptoms of sleep apnea.
If you or a loved one, including a child, snores loudly and regularly, sleep apnea may be present. We’re here to help, call us today for more information.