Snoring is often dismissed as an annoyance, but it can actually be a sign of a very serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. OSA is affects about two-thirds of all adults and can lead to serious medical problems.
What Happens During OSA?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway becomes blocked during sleep. The body then struggles to obtain air, which causes snoring and gasping for air. This happens multiple times each night, leaving your body starved for the oxygen it requires to run efficiently. Much of the time the body will continue to get just enough air to avoid harm, but over time, the repeated lack of oxygen takes its toll on your health.
Sleep apnea patients are often unaware of what is happening. Apneic episodes can occur between thirty to sixty times a night, causing sufferers to feel exhausted when they wake up, as though they haven’t really been sleeping. In fact, they have spent much of the night fighting for air, so it’s no wonder they experience the following symptoms:
- Waking with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Waking with a headache
- Excessive daytime drowsiness
- Frequent trips to the bathroom during the night
Where We Come In
In order to find out if you should request a sleep study, take our online sleep quiz. A sleep study will determine whether or not you have apnea, how severe the condition is, and will provide us with the information we need to provide treatment. While the standard treatment for OSA used to require sufferers to wear cumbersome masks attached to a machine that uses continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to keep the airway open during sleep, more than 90% of people experience success with a customized oral appliance.