Written by: on September 26, 2014 @ 5:22 pm

woman annoyed by man snoringNot everyone who snores considers it a problem. Slight snoring is usually pretty tolerable, while people who sleep alone have noone to complain about the noise in the first place. While it isn’t always a major issue, however, snoring can often be more than an annoyance; it can also indicate a more serious underlying sleep disorder, like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Snoring’s Relationship to Sleep Apnea

Have you ever wondered why you snore in the first place? As you sleep, your body’s muscles and tissues relax. When oral and nasal tissues relax too much, they can partially clog your airway, forcing your air through a more constricted space. The increased air pressure causes the walls of your throat to vibrate, creating the sound of snoring. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea experience loud snoring, followed by the total cessation of breathing as oral tissues completely close the airway.

How Do I Know if It’s OSA?

OSA occurs in cycles. Snoring grows increasingly louder, then stops as you stop breathing. After a few moments of silence, your brain will notice that you’re no longer receiving oxygen, and will wake your body enough to breathe again, restarting the cycle. This can repeat hundreds of times a night, and while you’ll likely remain unconscious, your brain and body are prevented from sleeping deep enough to rest and regenerate.

Why You Should Be Concerned

The fact that sleep apnea-related snoring is extremely loud should be enough to make you worry, but the noise is the least of the possible damage that sleep apnea can cause. The chronic sleep and oxygen deprivation can affect your daily life, causing extreme drowsiness and declining cognitive functions, while significantly increasing your risk of cardiovascular health issues.

ABOUT YOUR FARMINGTON HILLS DENTIST:

To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with one of the experts at the Comfort Dental Group, then contact us today by calling our office at (248) 474-6434. We welcome patients living in and around Farmington Hills, Livonia, Novi, Northville, Westland, and Dearborn Heights.

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