Snoring may be an annoying social problem and a subject of humor, but it also may be the cause (or the signal) of some serious medical problems. Snoring can lead to numerous awakenings from otherwise deep sleep. Such interrupted sleep patterns can cause daytime drowsiness which can impair ability to concentrate, accomplish required tasks and handle minor irritations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that more than 200,000 auto accidents annually are sleep related.
At its worst, snoring is related to the serious medical condition, sleep apnea. In this condition, narrowing of the pharynx is so significant that the tongue can actually press against the back wall of windpipe causing a total obstruction of air flow. If the obstruction lasts for ten seconds or longer it is considered an apnea. People with sleep apnea suffer from 10 to more than 100 apnea episodes per hour. Sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.
How is it Treated?
Most of the time, snoring and sleep apnea can be reduced or eliminated by wearing a simple oral appliance at night. It enlarges the airway by positioning the lower jaw slightly forward. Ask us for suggestions or contact us to schedule a consultation!