You might not even know that you snore, unless you sleep with a partner who wakes you up so you can stop. Likewise, you might not know that your snoring is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) unless you seek a professional assessment. Marked by loud, distinct patterns of snoring, sleep apnea is a disorder that forces you to repeatedly stop breathing in your sleep. While it doesn’t typically wake you from consciousness, it can prevent you from achieving restful sleep while simultaneously restricting your oxygen intake. If you snore, you can gauge your risk of it being sleep apnea by taking our short assessment below.
Snoring/Sleep Apnea Assessment
1.) How often do you snore?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when abnormal oral tissues collapse and block your airway. If you only snore occasionally, and if shifting positions makes it stop, then it’s unlikely that your snores are due to sleep apnea. If it occurs every night or nearly-every night, then the chances of it being OSA are significantly higher.
2.) Does your snoring seem to follow a distinct pattern?
The nature of the condition causes a distinct pattern of snoring in patients with sleep apnea. As oral tissues begin to block your airway, snoring grows continually louder, until it stops suddenly as the airway is completely blocked. After several seconds of silence, your mind panics and forces your body to start breathing again, usually with a loud gasp, and the cycle repeats itself (up to hundreds of times in a single night).
3.) Do you frequently wake up with a headache or sore throat?
Frequent interruptions to your sleep pattern can prevent your mind and body from receiving adequate rest. Coupled with the lack of sleep, the lack of oxygen and the forced breathing can result in frequent headaches, sore throat, and an increased risk of cardiovascular illness.
4.) Do you feel groggy, exhausted, and overly-fatigued throughout the day?
While OSA can pose a serious health risk, it also exhibits more immediate symptoms, often related to lack of restful sleep. Even though you believe you’re sleeping soundly through the night, sleep apnea can produce symptoms of sleep deprivation, such as grogginess, fatigue, exhaustion, unusual irritability, and a reduced ability to concentrate.
ABOUT YOUR SOUTHLAKE DENTISTS:
As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.