Snoring Or Sleep Apnea: They Can Be Quite Different Things
Millions of Americans suffer from snoring activity during sleep. While some of these people are simple snorers or primary snorers, many have a serious sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea .
Understanding the differences between sleep apnea and primary snoring is the first step to effective treatment of both conditions. For all the people across the country who are getting nudged or elbowed throughout the night from frustrated bed partners, its important to know what their snoring means, and how they can silence it.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
When breathing stops, oxygen levels in the body drop and carbon dioxide levels rise. This usually triggers the brain to wake us up to breathe. Most of the time, this happens quickly and we go right back to sleep without knowing we woke up.
This pattern can repeat itself all night in obstructive sleep apnea. Because of this, people who have it don’t reach a deeper, more restful level of sleep.
Signs of obstructive sleep apnea in kids include:
- snoring, often with pauses, snorts, or gasps
- heavy breathing while sleeping
Because it’s hard for them to get a good night’s sleep, kids might:
- have a hard time waking up in the morning
- be tired or fall asleep during the day
- have trouble paying attention or be hyperactive
As a result, obstructive sleep apnea can hurt school performance. Teachers and others may think a child has ADHD or learning problems.
How You Are Diagnosed With Sleep Apnea
So we talked about the most common symptoms of sleep apnea. What next? If you feel you have any of these symptoms what should you do? If you want to get the help you first need to set up an appointment with your primary care physician. Go see them, tell them about your concerns about not sleeping, and most likely you will receive a referral to a sleep doctor.
These are doctors that specialize in sleep medicine and sleeping disorders. Depending on your medical insurance you may not need a referral, but its always good to get a full check-up to make sure there are no other underlying issues.
Once you are in front of a sleep study doctor they will ask you a series of questions. Once the criteria are met for a sleep study, you will be given an appointment. And specific instructions on when to arrive for your sleep study.
The sleep study is a test that monitors your chest wall moment as you sleep, along with how much air is released from your nose and mouth during slumber. Your brain waves are also measured to check for neurological disconnect while sleeping. Consider doing research on sleep studies before you arrive for your appointment so you are not overly nervous.
Sleep study technician make you feel comfortable and explain everything during the setup. You will have electrodes attached to your head, arms, chest, and legs. Which helps to monitor heart rate as well.
Recommended Reading: Beta Fish Sleeping
Obstructive Sleep Apnea And Diet
The above risk factors show that sleep apnea strongly links diet and lifestyle. Food is at the foundation of healthy living and needs careful consideration for those with sleep apnea symptoms.
First off, food will not cure sleep apnea! However, it will reduce the risk factors and help you sleep better. Also, some foods do the opposite and alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. There is not much evidence to prove that foods can directly help sleep apnea, but there are foods that can promote better sleep, which is a step closer to sleep apnea treatment.
Taking foods with sleep-promoting compounds such as Melatonin and tryptophan can help improve sleep patterns.
Orthodontics And Sleep Apnea
There are different designations of sleep apnea, but the one that an orthodontist can help with is called obstructive sleep apnea. This is when the airways get repeatedly blocked while you are asleep, causing short periods of time where you arent really breathing. Not only is this dangerous, but it limits oxygen to vital organs and can negatively affect the quality of your sleep.
If you believe you have obstructive sleep apnea, let your orthodontist know. Although an orthodontist cannot directly diagnose sleep apnea on their own, they can be some of the first to see early signs of it during regular orthodontic treatment. Sleep apnea can be caused by numerous different factors, so working together with your healthcare team is vital.
When it comes to obstructive sleep apnea, orthodontic treatment can be used to alleviate symptoms. Often times, this type of sleep apnea is caused by misalignments in the mouth causing your airway to be blocked. By changing the alignment, this issue can go away.
Don’t Miss: Vivosmart 4 Sleep Tracking
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated
If your doctor finds that you have sleep apnea, theyâll suggest treatment based on how serious your condition is. For mild cases, you may only need to make lifestyle changes. They may ask you to lose weight, stop smoking, or treat nasal allergies .
If these donât ease your symptoms or if you have a moderate to severe case of sleep apnea, your doctor will recommend other treatments:
Continuous positive airway pressure . This machine sends air pressure through a mask while youâre asleep. This air pressure is greater than that of the air around you, which helps keep your upper airway passages open to stop apnea and snoring. If your CPAP mask is uncomfortable, talk to your doctor about other options to help you sleep well.
Other airway pressure devices. If a CPAP machine doesnât work for you, you can try another device that will automatically adjust the pressure while you sleep, called auto-CPAP. BPAP units, which supply bilevel positive airway pressure, are another option that gives your body more pressure when you inhale and less when you exhale.
Oral appliances. You can also wear an oral appliance that can help keep your throat open. While CPAP is generally more effective, oral appliances may be easier to use. Your dentist can help you find one thatâs right for you.
Supplemental oxygen. You may need to use extra oxygen when you sleep if you have central sleep apnea. There are many forms of oxygen and different devices that can help deliver it to your lungs.
Health Consequences Of Sleep Apnea
The chronic sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea can result in daytime sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and an increased risk of accidents and errors in your daily activities.
Sleep apnea also has a mental impact. It can trigger moodiness and irritability and cause anxiety and depression. It also increases your risk of other serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and stroke.
Affordable Online Therapy for Sleep Problems
Get professional help from BetterHelps network of licensed therapists.
Need urgent help? .
You May Like: Sleep Apnea Va Claim Denied
What Happens When You Stop Breathing
When you stop breathing, your heart rate also tends to drop the longer your body is deprived of oxygen. Then, your involuntary reflexes cause you to startle awake at the end of that period of not breathing. When this occurs, your heart rate tends to accelerate quickly and your blood pressure rises.
These are changes that take place acutely when you stop breathing. However, your body starts to experience chronic effects if you experience frequent apnea. Data suggests increased risk, particularly when you stop breathing roughly 30 times or more per hour. But there is likely a risk at even lower frequency rates.
For example, your blood pressure tends to go up, your heart walls thicken due to increased workload and the structure of your heart changes. It tends to become stiffer and less flexible because there are more fibrous cells growing in between the muscle cells.
All of those things increase the risk that you can have either atrial or ventricular arrhythmias. They also tend to reduce the function of the heart so that its less efficient at pumping blood.
Other Tests For Sleep Apnea
- EEG to measure and record brain wave activity
- EMG to record muscle activity such as face twitches, teeth grinding, and leg movements, and to look for REM stage sleep. During REM sleep, intense dreams often happen as the brain has heightened activity.
- EOG to record eye movements. These movements are important in determining the different sleep stages, particularly REM stage sleep.
- EKG to record heart rate and rhythm
- Nasal airflow sensor to record airflow
- Snore microphone to record snoring activity
Can Sleep Aids Help Osa
When you sleep, your body relaxes, including your breathing muscles and the muscles that support your airways. In most people, the airways are still supported enough to allow air to pass freely. In people with OSA, the airways can become dangerously narrowed, which can result in restricted breathing during sleep.
OSA can affect anyone but is most common in older adults and men. Because it can lead to daytime fatigue, drowsiness, and feelings of poor sleep quality, many of them find themselves reaching for sleep aids in an attempt to get better quality sleep. This can be dangerous.
Conventional sleep aids, such as medications, are not effective with OSA and can worsen its symptoms. Antihistamines, sleeping pills, and herbal supplements that relax the body further and deepen sleep can make it harder to wake up and interfere with the bodys ability to breathe even more, which can create potentially dangerous situations for the OSA sufferer.
Hypnosis for sleeping disorders can be one of the best sleep aids to use with OSA because it does not mask the problem but rather gives you tools to manage underlying factors so that you can get better sleep.
How Do You Know If You Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- May 19, 2021
- Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea, affecting 18 million American adults. If you think you may have this sleep disorder, youre far from being alone, but a casual self-diagnosis isnt enough. You need to understand what obstructive sleep apnea is so you can take action and avoid the dangerous side effects.
Read on to learn about the causes and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea so you can get diagnosed and treated by a sleep specialist as soon as possible.
Don’t Miss: Va Rating For Sleep Apnea With Cpap
Who’s At Risk For Developing Sleep Apnea
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute more than 12 million people in the United States suffers from sleep apnea. Those who are overweight are at a greater risk to develop the disorder. Men are much more likely to develop the disorder than premenopausal women. Someone with a family history of sleep apnea may also more likely to develop the disorder.
Snoring And Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea affects millions of people in the U.S. each year. Luckily, it is among the easiest sleep disorders to treat.
Sleep apnea symptoms include loud snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue. People suffering from sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during sleep as many as several hundred times a night. This results in multiple awakenings, which may cause sleepiness during waking hours. Sleep apnea can have major consequences if not treated. Headaches, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, heart attack and stroke have been associated with sleep apnea.
The following are just a few examples of how treating sleep apnea can positively affect your overall health.
- Sleep apnea is a risk factor for high blood pressure. Treating it can improve blood pressure levels.
- Treating sleep apnea can improve your overall mood and decrease symptoms of depression.
- Treating sleep apnea can improve congestive heart failure.
- Sexual dysfunction in men can improve when sleep apnea is properly treated.
- Treating sleep apnea can decrease the severity of acid reflux disease.
- Blood sugar control can improve with treatment of sleep apnea.
Also Check: Gear S2 Sleep
Dont Underestimate The Health Risks
More than just a noisy nuisance, snoring and sleep apnea can have serious health ramifications. OSA sufferers usually move out of deep sleep into light sleep when their breathing pauses, and this lessens sleep quality. OSA can also trigger the release of stress hormones, change how your body uses energy, and make you feel tired and sleepy during the day. In addition, there are several potential negative health effects of inadequate sleep, such as weight gain, memory loss, skin aging and more.
There is also evidence that OSA leads to a greater risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, certain cancers and even sudden death. Treating either condition can decrease these risks.
How Do I Know If I Have It
Health care providers use sleep studies to diagnose sleep apnea. They record how many times a person has slow or stopped breathing and the number of central sleep apnea events detected in an hour.
They also measure whether oxygen levels in the blood are lower during these events, which is a sign of sleep apnea.
Also Check: Can Apple Watch Track Sleep Apnea
I Sleep Alone How Can I Tell If I Have Sleep Apnea
Loud, chronic snoring is one of the telltale signs of sleep apnea. But what if you dont know if you snore? You may not have a sleeping partner who can express concern about your nighttime breathing patterns or annoyance because of all the noise youre making. While your dog or cat would surely tell you if they could, there are other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea that may be telling you that theres a problem. Even without a sleeping partners help, you should be able to make a fair guess at whether you are suffering from a sleep disorder.
Tissue Shrinkage Or Removal
Several tissue removal surgeries include uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, radiofrequency tissue reduction, and adenoidectomy. These surgeries will either remove the uvula, adenoid, and other glands that may cause blockage of the airway. The most invasive surgery is tracheotomy, where a hole is created in the patients neck to release airflow. This surgery is only recommended for treating adult obstructive sleep apnea or when a persons life is at risk.
Recommended Reading: Do Betas Sleep
Why Its Important To Diagnose And Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
While its helpful to learn about the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, the only way to know whether you have this sleep disorder is to get tested. A sleep specialist will be able to provide you with a sleep test to get you an accurate diagnosis and, in the event that you have obstructive sleep apnea, an effective treatment plan.
Following your treatment plan consistently will be the key to your success. Developing a new healthy habit isnt easy, but its worth it in the long-run. Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to serious health events such as stroke and heart attack. Not only will your treatment eliminate the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, but it will also reduce the risk of many comorbidities and allow you to live a longer and healthier life.
You can make the acclimation process easier by getting expert support. The Somnera® System doesnt just provide effective positive airway pressure to treat your obstructive sleep apnea it also comes with personal sleep coaching to help you stick with your treatment. If youre suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, find out how you can reclaim your night here.
Sleep Apnoea Can Cause Other Problems
Without treatment, sleep apnoea can lead to:
- a higher chance of having a stroke
- depression or changes in your mood
- a higher chance of having a serious accident caused by tiredness, such as a car accident
- difficulty concentrating at work or school
Sleep apnoea can also be difficult for your partner and put a strain on your relationship with them.
Recommended Reading: Does Fitbit Versa Track Sleep
What Is Sleep Apnoea
Sleep apnoea occurs when the throat muscles relax too much during sleep. This is the common form of sleep apnoea.
A rarer form is central sleep apnoea where breathing stops during sleep and there is a pause before breathing begins again. It is caused by a disruption to the mechanisms that control the rate and depth of breathing.
If you have sleep apnoea, the walls of your throat will collapse and become narrow as you breath in while you sleep. Air tries to travel through the narrowed airway and causes vibrations in tissues in the back of the throat these vibrations produce sounds known as snoring.
Sometimes the throat can collapse so much that not enough air can get into the lungs , or it blocks off completely and no air gets into the lungs .
You may have partial or complete obstructions where your breathing may decline or stop for a short time . These are sometimes called episodes or interruptions.
When these things happen, the brain gets messages that something is wrong and will arouse itself from sleep for a few seconds. Most people are not aware of these arousals.
This pattern can repeat itself hundreds of times every night, causing you to have fragmented sleep. This can leave you feeling unrefreshed in the morning with fatigue and sleepiness throughout the day and contributing to poor concentration and work performance.
How Is Sleep Apnoea Diagnosed
If you think you or someone you know has the signs and symptoms of sleep apnoea, see a GP. If your GP suspects you may have sleep apnoea, you may be referred to a sleep specialist.
Depending on their examination and assessment, your GP or sleep physician may arrange for you to have a sleep study.
A sleep study is a medical test used to diagnose a range of sleep disorders including sleep apnoea. A sleep study looks at what you do when you go to sleep. Most sleep studies measure:
- brain signals
- oxygen levels in the blood
- sleep position and limb movements
- heart rate
- breathing and snoring.
You will be attached to a portable machine and monitoring leads will be placed on your body to track your sleep throughout the night.
Sleep studies can be done at home or by staying overnight in a special sleep clinic and are provided in public and private health services.
Don’t Miss: Sleep Hypoxemia