Snoring is a common problem. While it can be annoying and keep others awake, most people don’t think twice about it. However, it can be a serious issue for some. Sleep apnea can be a serious issue that causes snoring. Read on to learn more about snoring and sleep apnea and what you can do for treatment.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common condition in which the upper airways become blocked repeatedly during sleep, reducing or stopping airflow. It is caused by a person’s physical structure or medical conditions, like large tonsils, obesity, endocrine disorders, neuronuclear disorders, or certain genetic syndromes.
Common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
• Frequent loud snoring
• Reduced or absent breathing
• Gasping for air during sleep
• Excessive daytime sleepiness
• Decreases in attention, concentration, and motor skills
• Sexual dysfunction or decreased libido
There are a number of sleep studies that can be done to diagnose sleep apnea. During these studies, the number of episodes of slow or stopped breathing is recorded for an hour. Tests can also determine whether oxygen levels in the blood are lover during these events.
During these sleep studies, you will be connected to monitors via electrodes on your head and body, but you will still have the ability to move around. Once you fall asleep, these electrode monitors will record the different stages of sleep and can identify potential sources of disruption in your sleep patterns.
After your study, data will be collected, and your doctor can then offer a diagnosis.
Breathing devices such as continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machines and lifestyle changes are effective sleep apnea treatments. An appointment with your ENT doctor can give you the opportunity to discuss further treatment options.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious complications like heart attack, glaucoma, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive behavior disorders.
If you are interested in learning more about snoring and sleep apnea, contact our Denver, Lone Tree, or Castle Rock office today to schedule an appointment.