Snoring is a common phenomena – more common than most people realize. Chances are that if you have a spouse or significant other, at least one of you snore at night on occasion or perhaps on a chronic basis. Snoring can be a temporary problem caused by allergies, respiratory problems, or poor sleeping posture. Chronic snoring can also be a symptom of a more serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea. People who chronically snore may have sleep apnea, especially if over-the-counter snoring remedies or making certain behavioral changes don’t stop the snoring.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone of any age, size (body mass index or BMI), race, and health. Take, for instance, Shaquille O’Neal. As a star athlete, you’d imagine that Shaq is in pretty good shape for someone who has to run up and down a court for hours on end, and he is. However, no one is immune to sleep apnea, and being otherwise physically fit doesn’t rule out sleep apnea. Just recently, Shaq was diagnosed with sleep apnea after his girlfriend realized not only was he snoring at night, but there were times when he was not breathing at all! When Shaq took part in a local sleep study, tests showed that he in fact was suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnea, a common cause of chronic snoring.
In the video at the above link, the doctor recommends Shaq try CPAP to treat his sleep apnea. Every day, at our Omaha office, we see patient after patient who has tried CPAP but can’t tolerate it. When patients can tolerate CPAP, it’s great, but if you can’t stand it and don’t use it, CPAP is 0% effective. In these cases, patients usually find oral sleep apnea appliances to be the best CPAP alternative.
The Correlation Between Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Chronic snoring is a very common symptom of sleep apnea. People who suffer from sleep apnea often suffer from chronic snoring as well because both conditions are caused by problems within the airway. Sleep apnea is known as a condition that causes pauses in breathing. These cessations in breathing can be caused by a variety of problems though most commonly the issue lies within the soft palate. In many patients, the soft palate collapses which then narrows and sometimes completely obstructs the airway. This means that air has to squeeze between the tissues which then causes vibrations, a.k.a snoring.
For some patients, stopping snoring can be something as simple as sleeping on your side or elevating your head at night. Others may find that using certain over-the-counter therapies, such as BreatheRight strips can fix a snoring problem. However if at home methods don’t work, a trip to a sleep dentist is recommended.
Though we are not certified to diagnose patients with sleep apnea, patients who have been positively diagnosed with the condition by a sleep physician, we can find an effective sleep apnea treatment that is truly life-changing. Not only will your snoring end, allowing you and your spouse better sleep at night, but you’ll wake up feeling well-rested, energized, and ready for a new day. With the right sleep apnea treatment, your nights and days will change for the better. Call our office today at (402) 493-4175 to schedule a sleep apnea treatment consultation.