Snoring and Sleep Apnea
It is estimated that more than 90 million North Americans snore. Snoring can be a real
problem not only for the person who snores, but also for their partner and other family members too. Snoring with pauses in breathing is called sleep apnea. The health risks associated with both snoring and sleep apnea can be serious and may include stroke,
heart failure, memory problems, obesity, diabetes and depression.
Causes of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
People who snore often have too much tissue that is more prone to vibrate. During sleep, muscles and soft tissues in the throat and mouth relax, shrinking the airway which
increases the velocity of airflow during breathing. As the velocity of air is increased, soft tissues like the soft palate and uvula vibrate. Other causes of snoring include age, being overweight or out-of-shape, alcohol, smoking and sleep posture.
Symptoms of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring and sleep apnea are often observed by a bed partner. Common symptoms felt by
the person who snores include excessive daytime drowsiness, memory loss, inability to
focus, quick to anger, high blood pressure and depression.
Prevention of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
There are many things you can do on your own to help stop snoring and/or prevent sleep apnea. You can lose weight if you're overweight, start an exercise program or exercise
more, quit smoking, avoid or reduce alcohol consumption and sleep on your side. If snoring
or sleep apnea persist, an anti-snoring device such as the Silent Nite-sl may be needed.
The Silent Nite-sl is a dentist-prescribed, custom-fabricated dental device. It prevents
snoring by increasing space in the airway which reduces air velocity and soft tissue
vibration. Dr. Nuhfer can determine the exact design and fit of your Silent Nite-sl device.
The Silent Nite-sl device is shown below:
Dr. Nuhfer advises patients with a snoring problem to bring this issue to her attention as snoring can sometimes be a warning sign of a more serious problem leading to sleep
apnea. If it’s determined that your snoring may be prevented with a Silent Nite-sl device,
a more restful sleep for you and your loved ones can be in the very near future.
Dr. Nuhfer recommends a good night’s sleep for everyone because the less sleep you get,
the weaker your immune system becomes, leaving it less able to fight off infections and disease. If you’re sleep deprived, the health risks can be very serious.
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